Flat romcom vehicle for Justin Bieber's paramour Selena Gomez
The star of tween drama Wizards of Waverly Place, but better known as the current squeeze of Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez is being relentlessly packaged for fame. Her previous venture, last year’s Ramona and Beezus sank like a stone, and her follow-up, Monte Carlo, is just as leaden-footed.
Gomez plays Grace, a plain Texan teenager who heads off post-graduation to Paris, with stuck-up sister Meg (Leighton Meester) and gauche waitress pal Emma (Katie Cassidy) in tow. Quickly disillusioned by their coach-party tour, the girls are accidentally transported into Monte Carlo’s high society when Grace is mistaken for British heiress Cordelia Winthorp Scott, also played by Gomez.
The tension in Monte Carlo arises from whether the girls will make out with their new aristo beaus before Cordelia’s aunt (Catherine Tate) rumbles them. But director Thomas Bezucha, who helmed the hideous Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle The Family Stone, is more interested in fawning over brand-names than questioning the morality involved.
Despite an accomplished cast of Gossip Girl refugees, and a memorably perverse sequence in which Gomez is gagged, tied to a chair and generally humiliated, Bezucha’s supposed soufflé of Euro-fun never rises, ensuring that this Monte Carlo is a bust.
General release from Fri 21 Oct.