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Sydney White DVD Review

by Kam Williams

DVD Features Amanda Bynes as Latter-Day Snow White

If you're eager to see Amanda Bynes play yet another tomboy who still lands the boy-most-likely in the end, then this may be the teensploitation flick for you. Here, her title role is as a freshman at mythical Southern Atlantic University, where she plans to pledge Kappa Phi Nu, her late mother's sorority.

However, soon after arriving on campus, Sydney finds herself ostracized by an army of bottle-blonde Barbies led by the dreaded Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton). These brunette haters could care less about her legacy connection, so the poor girl ends up living with seven dwarfs, I mean dorks, at lowly Vortex, the least popular fraternity on Greek Row.

If you haven't figured it out by now, this flick is a thinly-veiled update of Snow White the classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm. But this variation on the theme features a heroine with the name Sydney, not Snow White, and instead of dwarfs, we have allergic Lenny (Sneezy), mental midget George (Dopey), super-senior Terrance (Doc), moody Gurkin (Grumpy), upbeat Spanky (Happy), shy Jeremy (Bashful), and laidback Embele (Sleepy).

Rachel is obviously the Evil Queen and a character who comes along called Tyler Prince (Matt Long) serves as Prince Charming. Everybody knows exactly how the story ends, so the question is whether the execution makes it all worthwhile. The wacky Bynes displays the comic timing and endearing appeal of a latter-day Lucille Ball which has you in her corner every step of the way.

Sydney White has been constructed like a cross of Revenge of the Nerds and In & Out, both of which celebrated the ultimate triumph of underdogs, geeks in the former, gays in the latter. Unfortunately, the purloined and predictable plot elements leave too little to the imagination to warrant more than a tepid stamp of approval.

Good (2 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, partying and sexual humor.
Running time: 108 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Gag reel, deleted scenes, plus a half-dozen featurettes.

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