High school grad Grace (Selena Gomez), boring stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester) and Texas perky best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy) embark on the vacation of a lifetime, which begins with them slumming around Paris as part of a tsunami-paced bus tour before Grace gets mistaken for Cordelia Winthrop Scott, a British heiress, and they traipse off to Monte Carlo for fun, fashion and romance.
The movie has all of the hallmarks of a girly teen fantasy in the Disney-Nickelodeon mode: the twin/lookalike identity dilemma, poor girls dazzled by glitz and glamour, meet-cute love set against the postcard montage with the poppy soundtrack —�yet somehow co-writer/director Thomas Bezucha (The Family Stone) sneaks in a bit of old-school campy romp (and I mean 1969's If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium old school, which featured Suzanne Pleshette and a very young Ian McShane) and enlivens the tired cliches.
Monte Carlo still hits all of the expected stops along the way, but there is no aim to spice things up with mean-spirited contemporary pop-cultural bashings and lewd antics to lure the older teens only to disappoint them in the end. Bezucha knows exactly where he’s going, and Gomez’s girlfriends are picture perfect guides. Grade: B-
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