John Tucker Must Die is a romantic comedy set in a high school ruled by the captain of the basketball team, John Tucker. John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe) steals the hearts of nearly every girl in his high school, including head cheerleader Heather (Ashanti), promiscuous vegan activist Beth (Sofia Bush), and over-achieving Carrie, played by Arielle Kebbel. All three girls fall for John but do not realize they are being cheated on with each other; that is, until new girl Kate (Brittany Snow) comes in and shakes everything up.
Kate moves around often and has always been a shy, invisible girl. Her gorgeous mother, Lori, cannot keep a steady relationship and as a result, she re-locates every time they fail. When Kate and her mom move to Portland, Oregon, Kate works as a waitress and sees three girls (Heather, Beth, and Carrie) being taken on dates by the same boy, John Tucker. In an aggressive gym brawl that later leads to detention, Kate reveals the truth: all three girls are dating John. The trio then sets out to get revenge on John, trying many times but ultimately failing to make him “undatable.” Finally, the girls decide to give John a taste of his own medicine and make him fall for Kate while secretly plotting to break his heart. Kate begins to transform herself into a new, “hard to get,” girl. As this is happening, the “Other Tucker” Scott, played by Penn Badgley, becomes lab partners with Kate and begins to develop a crush on her.
The chemistry between the cast in this movie is undeniable. The four girls played off of each other well and bonded over the demise of John Tucker. Seeing Sophia Bush portray a very different character from her classic Brooke on One Tree Hill is intriguing. Metcalfe’s good looks combined with his smooth-talking, cool boy attitude allowed him to effectively transform into John Tucker. Additionally, Brittany Snow’s classic innocent, doe-eyed pretty girl look successfully helps her become Kate. The movie is a classic high school flick, with the over-exaggerated drama and stereotypical “popular kids ruling the school.” However, the movie creates a twist by having the popular girls turn on the popular guy. The film is not groundbreaking, but it is a fresh take on high school romance.
John Tucker Must Die is a classic sleepover movie, packed with girl power, hot guys, and some good ole’ revenge. Although it may seem like it, it is not just another teen flick. The film doesn’t have the dumb cheerleaders or a classic “happy ending” where the guy gets the girl. Rather, it plays out realistically and leaves the audience wondering what will happen to Kate, Scott, John, Beth, Carrie, and Heather in the future.