"This is highschool. What is a friend, anyway?"Jawbreaker
is a 1999 film directed by Darren Stein starring Rose McGowan
, Rebecca Gayheart, Julie Benz
, and Judy Greer
The movie starts with the popular girls of Reagan High fake-kidnapping one of their group, Liz Purr, as part of her seventeenth birthday, only to find when they arrive that she has choked to death on the jawbreaker used to gag her. Alpha Bitch
Courtney Shayne then leads the others to create an elaborate cover story that would paint Liz's death as an accident resulting from a kinky sexual encounter and get them off scot-free.
One of the girls, Julie Freeman, struggles to come to terms with what they've done and is summarily shunned by Courtney and her lapdog Marcie Fox. On top of this, she is replaced by the geeky Fern Mayo who Courtney transforms into the glamourous Vylette in return for the girl's silence. But the attention lavished upon "Vylette" soon goes to Fern's head and she begins to encroach on Courtney's position as Queen Bee, only to discover exactly why that's a bad idea as she is publicly humiliated. Meanwhile, when Julie is given a box of Liz's possessions, she stumbles upon something that will prove to be Courtney's downfall just as she prepares to accept the title of Prom Queen that Liz's death left her free to claim.
Tropes in this film include:
- Accidental Murder: Liz's death.
- Alpha Bitch: Courtney.
- Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Fern as Vylette starts to overshadow Courtney, and she knows it. That's when Courtney knocks her down a peg.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Before Liz's death, the three most popular girls fit this trope.
- Courtney: Brunette.
- Marcie: Blonde.
- Julie: Redhead.
- Brainless Beauty: Marcie.
- Deadly Prank: The premise of the film.
- Death by Sex: Courtney tries to set up Liz's death as such.
- Dumb Blonde: Marcie fits this to a T, being very much on The Ditz end of the scale.
- Engineered Public Confession: The ending.
- Erotic Eating: Courtney with her boyfriend, in a variant; as part of sex play, she makes him mime on a popsicle what he wants her to do to him.
- Girl Posse
- High School Dance: The final location of the movie.
- Humiliation Conga: Happens at the High School Dance thanks to the Engineered Public Confession.
- In with the In Crowd: Fern and Julie both apply. Marcie's talk with her father implies that this is also what happened to her.
- Karma Houdini: Marcie doesn't really receive any comueppance for her hand in things, as everything else is aimed at Courtney.
- The Makeover: Fern's transformation into Vylette.
- Make Way For the Princesses
- Manipulative Bitch: Courtney.
- Meaningful Echo: By Fern, see the page quote.
- Meaningful Name: Fern. Lampshaded when she is renamed Vylett for this very reason.
- Narrator All Along: Fern, although it's not a huge surprise when you pay the slightest bit of attention in the first scene.
- The Nineties
- Token Good Teammate: Liz among her friends, although Julie slowly makes a Heel-Face Turn throughout the movie.
- Two-Teacher School
- Popular Is Dumb: Marcie.
- Punny Name: "Vera Cruz."
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Marcie abandons Courtney in the end.
- Sex Is Evil: Liz was a virgin. Courtney — not so much.
- Shaming the Mob: Inverted, as the mob shames Courtney.
- Smoking Is Glamorous: Fern starts to smoke after "becoming" Vylett.
- Shrinking Violet: Fern, originally.
- The Sociopath: Courtney.
- Trunk Shot: When the girls want to surprise Liz in one of the first scenes of the movie.
- Villain Protagonist: Courtney.
- What an Idiot: Invoked in-universe, as this is pretty much Julie's reaction to Courtney upon learning she gagged Liz with a jawbreaker.