Jawbreaker [1999]

Rose McGowan vamps it up mercilessly as the "Satan in heels," a teenage-bitch queen whose birthday prank gone terminally wrong leaves her best friend dead, choked to death on a jawbreaker the size of a fist. Rebecca Gayheart, with her sparkling eyes and a smile that could melt an iceberg, is the good girl at heart who becomes a social pariah when she drops out of the group, trading her plunging necklines for librarian-lite sweaters and long skirts. Jawbreaker wants nothing less than to be the Heathers of its generation, but only intermittently hits the mark, such as when McGowan turns a mousy nobody into the next big thing, a slutty tease whose craving for attention soon challenges McGowan's supremacy. "She's evil," someone finally realizes, "and she's only in high school!" That's unfortunately the best Darren Stein's film gets. For all its catty talk and surface glamour, it's a flat, broadly directed satire that never lives up to its evocative title. Features an appearance by teen rock punks the Donnas as the prom band. --Sean Axmaker

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