This takes place several years before Cruel Intentions (1999), back to when Kathryn first meets Sebastian, their sexual attraction to each other and their enjoyment in destroying the lives of their peers.
Keri Lynn Pratt
Two guys at a college prep school make wagers on seducing naive young girls, and then meet their match when they agree to see which one can seduce the most popular and devious girl who has her own agenda to everything.
Kathryn Merteuil and Sebastian Valmont are seductive, manipulative step-siblings who get what they want when they want it. Kathryn makes a bet with Sebastian: Sebastian must bed Annette, daughter of the headmaster at their school, before the end of summer break. Annette has stated that she would wait until love and marriage to sleep with a man. If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian's vintage 1959 Jaguar Roadster. If Sebastian wins, he gets Kathryn, the only girl he knows he'll never have. Also in play is Cecile, a naïve girl whose mother had enlisted Kathryn to help her fit in at her new school. However, Kathryn (with Sebastian's help) plans to ruin Cecile's reputation as revenge on Kat's ex-boyfriend, who left her for Cecile.
Production designer Jon Gary Steele, had it so that all of the locations they were permitted to paint were painted in dark colours. "I see the movie as very much a tragedy," Steele said in the film's production notes. "Since we were using a young cast, I didn't want it to feel like a young, bright teen film, because it's not. It's very tragic; everyone basically loses." See more »
When they are in the New York Subway, we can see a Los Angeles Metro train in the background. See more »
My advice is to sleep with as many people as possible.
But that would make me a slut, wouldn't it?
Cecile, everybody does it; it's just that nobody talks about it.
So, it's like a secret society?
That's one way looking at it.
[under her breath]
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This film (based on the 1988 hit 'Dangerous Liasons' starring Glenn Close, Michelle Pfieffer and John Malkovich) is a great movie intended for the older teenagers, and stars fine young acting talent.
Rich kid Kathryn ('Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar) bets her equally jaded step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe; 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', which co-starred Sarah) that he can't seduce good girl, and virgin, Annette (played by Ryan's real-life wife Reese Witherspoon).
Along the way, Kathryn tries to help sexually-inexperienced Cecile (Selma Blair) get some action in her life, while she starts screwing Cecile's ex-music instructor! Sound weird? It is. It's basically about 2 rich snobs who mess with the lives of those around them, just because their lives get boring.
This film also stars Joshua Jackson ('The Skulls', 'Urban Legend', TV's 'Dawson's Creek) as Sebastian's gay best friend, who also gets involved in the use or be used storyline. Fellow teen-movie star Tara Reid ('Urban Legend', 'American Pie') also has a small role, as Sebastian's psychiatrists's daughter.
This film is pretty intense and deals with sex, drugs, seduction and alienation in a brave, way that makes it appealing to all teenagers. Not for the light hearted, more daring than anything like 'She's All That' and 'Never Been Kissed', but it's still good fun!
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