Sydney White (PG-13)

Comedy 100 September 21, 2007
By Luke Y. Thompson
Just a guess here, but the majority of Amanda Bynes fans probably didn’t get most of the Shakespeare references in her As You Like It-inspired She’s the Man, so, behold: This time she’s gone for something a bit more familiar with Sydney White. Originally titled Sydney White and the Seven Dorks, the movie takes the classic Snow White tale and resets it at a modern university. You might expect a college comedy version of a fairy tale to skew a bit older and be a bit risqué, but this is a more kid-friendly version of the Grimm’s tale than even Walt Disney’s animated take. Bynes is arguably the most macho Snow White ever as Sydney, a plumber’s daughter who intends to join her late mother’s sorority. But the sorority is run by Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), and just in case you miss the significance of her surname, we get two separate close-ups of the name plate on her parking space. Unfortunately, this film doesn’t have the cojones to take the fairy tale all the way and have Rachel marry Sydney’s dad (or cast actual dwarfs). But director Joe Nussbaum knows his dorkdom and nails it, filling the nerds’ frat-row house with full-size Darth Vader and Greedo replicas, not to mention a rare “Return of the Jedi Power of the Force Luke Skywalker in Combat Poncho” action figure. Trust me, the nomenclature is correct.
Joe Nussbaum Amanda Bynes, Matt Long, Sara Paxton, Jack Carpenter, Jeremy Howard, John Schneider, Crystal Hunt, Samm Levine, Danny Strong, Adam Hendershott Chad Creasey Guy McElwaine Universal Pictures