"I wasted all my time at high school waiting for some guy to sweep me off my feet," bemoans teenager Jenny, ignoring the fact that she's actually won a good place at college, just as she ignores Ryan, the best friend who is clearly in love with her. Jenny's romantic interests are directed entirely toward rock star Jason Masters, the unattainable object of impossible fantasies. But when she and Ryan go to the island of St Lucius to spend the summer working at a holiday resort, a freak accident leads to her becoming marooned on a lonely beach with her injured idol. She's so caught up in the romance of the situation that, when she discovers they're actually back on the same island, she neglects to tell him...

Lovewrecked is a simple, unambitious and largely predictable romantic comedy, but it tells its story well. Its pacing is good and it deftly sidesteps most of the problems one would expect with a narrative of this sort. Of course, the real question is whether or not it will work for girls who can directly relate to Jenny's feelings and behaviour. These are, in places, deliberately exaggerated for comic effect, which some may find uncomfortable. Overall, though, the film takes a sympathetic approach which doesn't condemn the heroine as stupid or crazy and, instead, gives her room to grow up, discovering that her real desires may be more complicated and Jason more simple than she had thought. Rather than having her surrender herself repeatedly in the search for love, it allows her to discover the thrill of independence and self-sufficiency.

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As Jenny, Amanda Bynes turns in an energetic and amiable performance, though her approach to the overtly comic scenes is sometimes a bit heavy-handed. Jonathan Bennett is good in the subtler role of Ryan, and Chris Carmack works remarkably well as Jason, making him appropriately dim and self-centered yet nevertheless a sympathetic human being whose frustrations the viewer can relate to. The film balances its shipwreck fantasy nicely against the awkward reality of the situation. Only towards the end does it start to tip over into farce, with the arrival of Jamie-Lynn DiScala's brick-subtle Alexis and a hurricane danger scene which seems tacked-on to add a bit of last-minute tension. Despite this, it is, overall, an enjoyable feel-good film, very good at what it does. Don't leave when the lights go up - there's a charming bonus sequence as the credits roll.

Reviewed on: 16 May 2007
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Lovewrecked packshot
Marooned on a beach with her rock star idol, a starstruck teenager neglects to tell him that they're actually still on the same island as their holiday resort.
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Director: Randal Kleiser

Writer: Stephen Langford

Starring: Amanda Bynes, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Bennett, Jamie-Lynn DiScala

Year: 2005

Runtime: 83 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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