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  Publicity Stills of
"Wild Child"
(Courtesy of UIP)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Nick Moore
Cast: Emma Roberts, Johnny Pacar, Sophie Wu, Jessica Ritchie, Aidan Quinn, Natasha Richardson, Alex Pettyfer, Georgia King, Kimberley Nixon, Juno Temple, Shirley Henderson
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.wildchildmovie.co.uk/


Opening Day: 27 November 2008


Sixteen-year-old Poppy is a self-obsessed, incorrigible brat who lives a pampered life in her L.A. world. Although she's handed credit cards with unlimited balances and surrounded by countless hangers on, Poppy can't escape the mounting frustration she feels with her family situation. And she makes sure that everyone knows it. After an over-the-top prank pushes her father one step too far, Poppy is shipped off to an English boarding school. Finding herself in a foreign world of early curfews, stern matrons and mandatory lacrosse, the American princess has finally met her match: a school of British girls who won't tolerate her spoiled ways. Under the watchful eye of the school's headmistress and surrounded by a new circle of friends, Poppy begrudgingly realizes her bad-girl behavior will only get her so far. But just because she must grow into a fine young lady doesn't mean this "wild child" won't be spending every waking hour shaking up a very proper system.

Movie Review:

People like Lindsay Lohan have done it. So does Amanda Bynes, Brittany Snow and Hilary Duff among many others. Thus even you have one of Tinseltown’s hottest actress as your aunt, you still need to pay your dues.

In "Wild Child", Emma Roberts (niece of Julia Roberts and daughter of sometimes actor, Eric Roberts) plays Poppy Moore, a totally spoiled California girl who is being shipped off to a boarding school in the UK by his father for her increasing rebellious behaviour. The rules of staying in a boarding school means Poppy’s Jimmy Choo (heels), Louis Vuitton (bags), iPhone and her internet access have to make way for prim & proper school uniform, school rules and the school bully aka headgirl, Harriet.

It’s easy to write off "Wild Child" as your typical teen drama comedy. Like mentioned prior, many stars have done that before venturing into other paths of their career like singing or gracing the daily tabloids but there’s a certain charm in Emma Roberts that you can’t help falling in love with. Perhaps her smile or her resembles-a-bit-like-Aunty-Julia looks but anyway even though Poppy is the central character, there are Kate, Drippy who forms part of her dorm mates and charm the audience with all their crazy antics in trying to get Poppy ‘expel’ from the school.

There’s the lovable Nick Frost (the chubby half from Hot Fuzz) who turns up as a sissy hairdresser and a bunch of supporting comical characters that makes "Wild Child" a joy to sit through.

You can’t really expect anything less from a Working Title production. The writings here are sharp and offensive most of them owing to Poppy’s fish-out-of-water predicament. Sample the following exchange between Poppy first encounter with Harriet, "When the headgirl has earned my respect, then I will shake her hand, biatch!"

Poppy Moore in fact is a lost soul, hiding her sorrow behind a pretentious strong façade. Not knowing what her future lie. Fortunately the accessible plotting did serve justice to the otherwise two dimensional character by dividing scenes between her newfound friendship and her commitment to the school’s lacrosse team and a school head, Mrs Kingsley who truly believes in her.

A teen drama just can’t do without a love interest and here it is, in the form of Freddie, Mrs Kingsley’s son who came to live with her in the boarding school during his school breaks. A rather convenient move by the screenwriter though it adds nothing substantial to the Poppy’s character.

If you love the Harry Potter series where the average age of the leading cast members is below the legal age of 21 or any of those early Lindsay Lohan’s girly flicks, you should have no problem lapping up this unpretentious and light-heartened teen comedy.

Movie Rating:

(You won’t go wild over this child but you will warm up to her)

Review by Linus Tee


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