The messed-up machinations of bored, oversexed stepsiblings Kathryn Merteuil and Sebastian Valmont aren’t quite as shocking in 2014 as they were when Cruel Intentions was released on March 5, 1999. (Blame Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and a zillion other glitzy/scandalous imitators.)
That said, Cruel Intentions is still an enormously entertaining teen movie, even 15 years (gulp) after its initial release — thanks to an uncommonly sharp script, a killer soundtrack, and, most importantly, an impeccable cast, which featured future Oscar winners and future Sharknado stars alike. Well, one of each, but you get the picture. Whoever headed up this franchise had a serious eye for talent: One of five-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams’ first roles was as the lead of a spin-off TV show that never made it past the pilot stage and was subsequently marketed as Cruel Intentions 2. NEVER FORGET.
But back to the original. Cruel Intentions‘ pretty young things — the interesting ones, anyway — spend the film’s 97-minute run time both screwing with each other and being screwed with. By the final frame, the status quo established at the beginning of the movie has been turned on its head: reformed bad boy Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) is dead, while good girls Annette and Cecile (Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair) have triumphed over alpha bitch Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar, never better). In real life, though, basically everyone affiliated with the movie came out a winner: All went on to find some degree of stardom on screens big and small, and most are still fairly relevant today.
Of course, some are a little bit more relevant than others. Which is why I’m taking this opportunity to reevaluate the careers of the Cruel Intentions gang in a modern context. Who ended up being the cast’s real Queen Bee — and who basically got dumped by Hollywood over Fourth of July weekend? The answers may surprise you! READ FULL STORY