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:: Sydney White

This update of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” stars Amanda Bynes as Sydney White, a tomboy raised by her plumber father Paul (John Schneider). She leaves home to attend the same university her late mother attended, with aspirations to pledge her mother’s sorority. However, this plan never comes to fruition thanks to sorority leader Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), who despises Sydney due to her winning the affections of campus stud Tyler Prince (Matt Long).

With no where to go, Sydney takes refuge in the Vortex, a condemned dwelling that is home to several geeks who do not fit in with the rest of the university. Together they become best friends, and take their fight for equality to Rachel in the school president elections.

“Sydney White” is a boring and clichéd film that is extremely schmaltzy, with uninspired direction by Joe Nussbaum, and containing as much soul and intelligence as a Disney sitcom, minus the laugh track. Chad Gomez Creasy has written an awful script which rests solely upon its supposedly clever updates of various Snow White characteristics (the poison apple is a computer virus; Prince Charming is the school stud, etc).

The cute as a button Amanda Bynes (who was great in “Hairspray”) gives a dull performance as the brunette caught in a sea of blonde, trying to live up to her mothers reputation. However, those portraying the seven geeks do come across much better, providing much needed (if dreary) laughs with their fantasy game antics and “Hi-ho!” (as in slut) quips to the enemy.

This is a comedy aimed squarely at teenage girls of the boy band/Disney crowd. It just does not have the wit and sass of say, “10 Things I Hate About You”, which successfully updated Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” to fine acclaim. Its white washed version of reality will probably do more damage to the kids it is supposedly trying to inspire. Its talk of tyranny, democracy, and equal rights is well meant, yet poorly presented in a fantasy like setting such as this.

There have been much better films released this year that deal with the exact same issues and premise. For equal rights, watch “Hairspray”. For fairytale fantasy, watch “Enchanted”. To test your gag reflexes, watch “Sydney White”.