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Film / Crazy/Beautiful

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Crazy/Beautiful is a 2001 romantic drama film directed by John Stockwell, starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez.

The story centers around the romance of Nicole Oakley (Dunst), the troubled daughter of a U.S. Congressman (Bruce Davison), and Carlos Nuñez (Hernandez), a studious Mexican American from a working-class background. It is largely set at Palisades Charter High School and the surrounding area, including Downtown Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, Malibu (where Nicole lives), and East Los Angeles (where Carlos lives).

The following tropes are found in this film:

  • Academic Athlete: Carlos is a star football player and achieving student.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Gender inverted, as Carlos is the "good" boy here and Nicole is the "bad one".
  • Culture Clash: Nicole attends a party being thrown by Carlos’s family. As she is the only white girl there, she feels awkwardly out of place.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Nicole has this: her mother committed suicide when she was just twelve, a traumatic incident that is the source of her self-destructive behavior.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: A surprising inversion. If anything, Nicole's father likes Carlos, offering to sponsor him for the Naval Academy, and asks Carlos to stay away from his daughter out of concern that she'll bring him down (as he has ambitions for the Naval Academy and she's been a troublemaker for quite some time.)
  • Disappeared Dad: Carlos’s father.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage: A pretty memorable and sweet one, set to David Gray's "This Year's Love".
  • Hands-Off Parenting: As Nicole's father sees her as a lost cause and her stepmother is oblivious to her, Nicole is given a lot of leeway in her family's home. In one scene, she nonchalantly walks half-naked into the kitchen, in full view of the housekeeper, and retrieves a condom from a cabinet before casually going to her bedroom where her boyfriend is.
  • Jealous Romantic Witness: Nicole sees a Latina girl flirting with Carlos at the party.
  • Make-Out Kids: Nicole and Carlos get caught doing this in the school’s photography lab.
  • Meet Cute: The couple meets on a beach, where Carlos is hanging out with friends and Nicole is doing court-ordered trash collection as part of her DUI sentence.
  • Opposites Attract: Carlos is an ambitious student and football star from East L.A. Nicole is a free-spirited and rebellious white girl from Malibu.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time / Moment Killer: Averted and Played for Laughs. Nicole and a shirtless Carlos are in her bedroom, about to have sex, when Nicole’s dad appears outside the window wandering by the pool. Carlos freaks out, but her father doesn’t actually see them. Nicole humors him and says that her dad wouldn’t actually care regardless. The mood is ruined though, so they save their rendezvous for another time.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Nicole.
  • Spoiled Brat: Carlos calls Nicole out on her privilege when a stunt she pulls gets him put in detention.
    Carlos: I’m bused two hours both ways. If I wanted to screw up, I'd do it in my own school and get a lot more sleep.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Not only are Carlos and Nicole an interracial couple, but they respectively come from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Nicole is a wild child from a wealthy family with a U.S. Congressman as a father. Carlos is a studious Mexican-American who has ambitions to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and become a pilot.
  • They Were Holding You Back: Carlos’s mother fears Nicole is a bad influence on her son.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Played with; while Nicole's stepmother isn't too affectionate with her and prefers her baby to her, it can also be looked at as her being simply exasperated by all the trouble she's gotten into.
  • Wild Teen Party: After the breakup, Nicole goes to one of these to drown her sorrows.