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Down To You review

Take the corniest, sickliest, most saccharine teen romance you can think of. Then multiply the barf-factor by 10 and you're still nowhere close to Down To You, "a new comedy about giving first love a second chance", which doesn't even deserve a second chance itself.

Freddie Prinze Jr (She's All That) and Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You) are a pair of clean-cut, unfeasibly good-looking college brats who hit it off at once and are soon going at it like randy badgers. They like the same music, love the same desserts (""Cake is my world!"" burbles Stiles) and share the same deadbeat group of mates, including porno actors Cyrus (Blair) and Monk (Orth) and mullet-sporting jock Eddie (Hatosy).

After a short time apart, however, they're getting on each other's nerves, picking up on faults and longing to get their lives back again. Should they kiss with their eyes open or closed? Should Imogen remain true or cop off with Jim Morrison (Ashton Kutcher), a friendly dopehead who (surprise, surprise) looks like Jim Morrison? And should Al accept the fellatio Cyrus offers him in the Barnes & Noble bookstore?

Since we all know the outcome from the get-go, there's not much in writer-director Kris Isacsson's feature debut to get your teeth into. Thankfully, though, there are one or two nifty gags to distract us from the bland protagonists. Monk stars in a Roman porn flick called Ben Huge, while Chef Ray (Winkler) envisions a guerrilla cookery show in which he invades kitchens with a SWAT team in tow.

Alas, none of the above will stop you thinking that kids this rich, pretty and wholesome haven't the right to have problems like the rest of us. Oh, and there's one more thing: if Al is taking a liberal arts degree, then why is he seen reading a textbook on molecular biology?

Love means never having to say you're sorry, but someone should definitely apologise for this weak addition to the teenage romance cycle. Freddie Prinze Jr and Julia Stiles are always watchable, but they're just too perfect to ring true.

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