Follow TV Tropes


Film / From Justin to Kelly

Go To

From Justin to Kelly is a 2003 film that is a VERY loose adaptation of American Idol.

After the first season of American Idol proved a massive success, the network executives began to think of other ways to milk the brand for all it was worth. What they decided to do was adapt what is essentially a karaoke talent show into a musical beach comedy film starring the contractually obligated winner and runner up of American Idol's first season, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini. Clarkson plays Kelly Taylor, a cautious Texan waitress going to Florida for spring break with her two friends. Guarini plays Justin Bell, a "wild" college student from Pennsylvania who, with his two friends, run a party service and are also going to Florida for spring break. Justin and Kelly meet and quickly fall in love but struggle with their differences and the manipulations of Kelly's jealous friend.


Subplots include Justin's friend Eddie trying to find a girl he met on the internet, Kelly's friend Kaya falling for a local busboy, and Justin's friend Brandon constantly getting in trouble with a policewoman.

Regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, the film failed miserably with both the box office and with critics, so much that the studio got in trouble with theaters due to how fast they tried to put the film on home video. Additionally, the film's soundtrack was never officially released due to how poor the reception was.


This film shows examples of:

  • 555: Kelly and Alexa's phone numbers.
  • Actor Allusion: Kelly is a small-town Texas girl with a big voice and a taste for country music. The real-life Kelly Clarkson did in fact work as a cocktail waitress before American Idol.
  • Alliterative Name: Justin, Brandon, and Eddie are collectively known as "the Pennsylvania Posse." The guys host events called "Margarita Madness" and "Pool Party Paradise."
  • Almost Kiss: After returning from their boat ride, Kelly and Justin pause at the entrance to Kelly's hotel and stand silently for a long moment before... shaking hands.
  • Bad Girl Song: "Wish Upon a Star"
  • Beauty Contest: Specifically, a whipped cream bikini contest.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Alexa says this of Justin and Kelly's relationship after her efforts to keep them apart fail.
    It's fate. You two belong together.
  • Beta Couple: Kaya and Carlos.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Justin and Kelly.
    • Between Eddie and Lizzie when they finally meet after failing to find each other all week.
  • Bookends: Kelly asks "Come here often?" when she and Justin first introduce themselves. He asks the same question moments before they officially get together.
  • Boy Meets Girl: The basic premise of the movie.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Kelly and Kaya, of Alexa's much more pronounced (and consistent) Southern accent.
    Kelly: Which one was that one?
    Alexa: No one special.
    Kaya and Kelly: "No one special."
  • Bromantic Foil: Brandon, to Justin and Eddie.
  • But Not Too White: Eddie tries to achieve this.
    Eddie: Well, I'm off to meet my Internet babe. Once she sees this bronzed Adonis, she'll know it was worth the wait.
    Brandon: Whoa, whoa. Got milk?
    Eddie: My skin is not milky. It is alabaster. Thank you.
  • Call-and-Response Song: "Madness"
  • Character Shilling: For Kelly, who at different times is described as hot, special, nice, and genuine.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Brandon lets Alexa into the Margarita Madness party for free in exchange for a kiss on the cheek.
  • Compete for the Maiden's Hand: Justin and Luke do this with a hovercraft beanbag toss competition, as an alternative to the Cock Fight that might have gone down if not for Brandon stepping in.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The main reason Alexa and Kaya want Kelly to visit Miami with them is because their only means of transportation is her car. This is because the charter company operating their previously booked flight has just gone bankrupt, all other flights were full, and Alexa's father is either borrowing or withholding her car.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Justin and Kelly both wear head-to-toe white for their boat ride.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Or paper. Kelly writes her phone number in lipstick on a paper towel.
  • Counterpoint Duet: "Forever Part of Me"
  • Cover Version: Reba McEntire's "I Won't Stand in Line" in the opening scene, "Vacation" by The Go-Go's in the next scene, and KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)" in the finale.
  • Crowd Song: "The Luv (The Bounce)" and "That's The Way (I Like It)", which both feature Spontaneous Choreography.
  • Dance of Romance: "It's Meant to Be"
  • Hummer Dinger: Kelly drives what appears to be an International Harvester Scout for a major-mileage highway trip.
  • I Hate Past Me: Justin insists he no longer lives up to his hard-partying reputation, and is only sticking with his and Brandon's party-planning business to pay for college.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Alexa reveals that her motivation for trying to sabotage Kelly and Justin's relationship was because she wanted guys to see her the way guys saw Kelly ("for who you really are" and not just a hot party girl).
  • Informed Attribute: Kelly and Justin apparently fell in love at first sight, which the film does a rather poor job of showing. For example, during their love song duet, they're about eight feet away from one another and don't even look at each other.
    • Kaya is described as "the smart one" in her group of friends. There is scant evidence to support this.
  • Join or Die: A playful example when Kaya and Alexa try to persuade Kelly to come with them to Miami.
    Alexa: Just imagine relaxin' on a gorgeous beach...
    Kaya: Sippin' piña coladas with your two best friends...
    Alexa: And if you don't come...
    Kaya and Alexa: We'll kill ya.
  • Just Friends: Kelly repeatedly tells local cowboy Luke that they are this, but he is undeterred. After some chicanery from Alexa, Kelly is forced to pull a gender-flipped She Is Not My Girlfriend on him, followed by a Like Brother and Sister, which is enough to make him drop his pursuit.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All eight contestants in Justin and Brandon's whipped cream bikini contest, and anyone seen wearing a real bikini.
  • Multicolored Hair: Kelly's hair is brown with some blond streaks.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Justin likes that Kelly is "not a party girl," much to Alexa's chagrin.
  • Never Say "Die": The word "sex" is never spoken in the movie, and the characters often use "party" as a substitute.
  • Never Trust a Trailer
    • TV spots for the movie described the premise this way: "Music will bring two strangers together." While the movie certainly has music in it, music is not integral to the plot in any way.
    • Also includes a Missing Trailer Scene in which Justin says "Hey, you're that girl from the beach!" upon meeting Kelly. In the movie, this was changed to "Hey, we met at the beach, right?"
  • Not Good with Rejection: Alexa, whose Pride is wounded after Justin turns down her advances.
    "Do you know how many guys would kill to be in your position? You think Kelly has what I have?"
    • Also Justin, who continues to pursue Kelly despite her (false) rejection, and at one point sends her a text informing her that he "won't take no for an answer."
  • Not Like Other Girls: After meeting Kelly, Justin declares "This one's special."
  • Nutritional Nightmare: Kelly orders a bacon cheeseburger, then mutters "triple bypass" to herself.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Kelly sounds more distinctly Texan in the movie's opening scene, but lets this affectation fade away.
  • Only in Miami: Spring break! Beach parties! Palm trees! Hot Cuban men who can dance!
  • Only One Name: None of the main characters reveal their surnames, although early reviews of the movie indicate that Kelly and Justin's surnames are, respectively, "Taylor" and "Bell."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Kelly says that her friends call her Kelly "for short", it's unknown what it could possibly be short for, as she's named after her actress.
  • Palatial Sandcastle: Eddie waits by one of these to meet his Internet love.
  • Playing Sick: When first accosted by Officer Cutler, Brandon tries to explain that he suffers from a condition called "posterior spasmodica."
  • Power Ballad: "Anytime"
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Justin and Luke invite Kelly to join them for, respectively, burgers and steaks.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Carlos blames Kaya for getting him fired for the sake of a relationship that will end as soon as she leaves. He later changes his mind and makes it up to her.
    • Coincidentally, Kaya gets Carlos fired by delivering such a speech to his boss.
  • The Remake: Of the 1960 teen movie Where the Boys Are (according to the Razzies, which hailed From Justin to Kelly as the worst remake of 2004), but with a considerable Tone Shift.
  • Rule of Pool: A fully clothed Justin falls right in during his and Brandon's "Pool Party Paradise" party.
  • Running Gag: Eddie and Brandon each have their own: Eddie continually failing to meet up with a girl he was dating online and Brandon getting tickets from the same police officer for his party antics.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: In the middle of their Love Theme, Kelly asks Justin if he "bring[s] all [his] girls out here." He either ignores or fails to notice her snarky tone and answers sincerely that he "come[s] out here to think."
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Alexa orders a Bouncer to let her skip the line for the Margarita Madness party, on the ground that she is "friends with the promoters."
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Alexa wears string bikinis and miniskirts on multiple occasions, while Kelly only wears a bikini top once and wears full-length pants to the beach multiple times.
  • Slut-Shaming: Kaya unfavorably compares Alexa to Kelly, in that the former is a "party girl" and the latter is a good girl. Insulted, Alexa suggests she has Hidden Depths, making Kaya and Kelly laugh derisively.
  • Smug Smiler: Alexa, watching Justin and Luke nearly come to fisticuffs.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: