Review: 'Breaking the Girls' tracks 'Strangers on a Train'

Shawn Ashmore, Madeline Zima and Agnes Bruckner in "Breaking the Girls." (Ryan Aylsworth / Myriad Pictures)
August 2, 2013, 12:23 p.m.
Though not credited as a remake, "Breaking the Girls" takes the basic premise of "Strangers on a Train," the Patricia Highsmith novel famously adapted to the screen by Alfred Hitchcock — I'll kill for you if you'll kill for me — and transports it to the modern day. Law student Sara (Agnes Bruckner) has had a run of misfortune brought on in no small way by a jealous classmate, costing her a job, a scholarship and a place to live. She also meets the rich, troubled Alex (Madeline Zima), setting in motion a series of events to solve all their problems.
The film's screenplay.

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Director Jamie ver futbol en vivo Babbit first broke through with her satiric comedy "But I'm a Cheerleader" before moving mostly to television, working on a wide swath of smart shows including the recently departed "Bunheads." She and her screenwriters have fun throughout, flirting with making the film as a self-aware late-night-cable erotic thriller, as in the three-way make-out scene in a pool that playfully rebuffs the male fantasy of the moment.
"Breaking the Girls" isn't exactly a throwaway, but more an extended act of teasing foreplay, a movie that is fine for what it is but also never really shifts into something more.
mark.olsen@latimes.com
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"Breaking the Girls"
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.
Playing: At the Arena Cinema, Hollywood.

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