Love Don't Cost A Thing

All the money in the world couldn't have saved actress-turned-filmmaker Troy Beyer's lewd, obnoxious, product placement-laden remake of the sweet and simple romantic comedy CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (1987). Smart but geeky high school senior Alvin Johnson (Nick Cannon) is a mechanical whiz kid on the verge of winning an engineering scholarship to college —...read more

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All the money in the world couldn't have saved actress-turned-filmmaker Troy Beyer's lewd, obnoxious, product placement-laden remake of the sweet and simple romantic comedy CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (1987). Smart but geeky high school senior Alvin Johnson (Nick Cannon) is a mechanical whiz kid on the verge of winning an engineering scholarship to college — if he can just finish building the engine he's designed. Alvin may spend most of his time working as a pool boy and memorizing Michael Jackson's dance moves, but he secretly lusts after Paris Morgan (Christina Milian), the most popular girl in school. Paris won't give Alvin the time of day, even though her so-called perfect life isn't the teen dream the uncool kids imagine: Her boyfriend Dru (Elimu Nelson) has just joined the NBA and declared on national TV that he's a free agent, socially speaking. Paris accepts Alvin's help after she smashes up her mom's new SUV — the one she was explicitly forbidden to drive — and he offers to fix the car and lay out $1500 for parts. In return for the money, which was earmarked for Alvin's all-important engine project, Paris agrees to confer her in-crowd seal of approval by pretending she's Alvin's girlfriend for two weeks. The former geek spruces up his wardrobe, renames himself Al, ditches his dweeby companions and swiftly gains entry to the ranks of the cool. His mother and sister (Vanessa Bell Calloway, Ashley Monique Clark) are skeptical about his Urkel-gone-gangsta transformation; even Paris tries to convince him she liked him better before. His father (Steve Harvey), on the other hand, is thrilled his little boy is finally becoming a man, and starts dispensing smarmy advice on how to woo the ladies. You don't have to have seen the original film to know how everything plays out. Cannon, so appealing in DRUMLINE (2002), turns off the charm as misfit Alvin and is insufferable as the smooth-talking Al; R&B singer Milian may be a fine actress, but it's hard to look beyond her barely-there wardrobe. Beyer seems to have taken a page from AMERICAN PIE's book of creepy father-son interactions for Harvey's ridiculous role as a father who harbors an unhealthy obsession with condoms. The film's only bright spots are Alvin's goofy sidekicks — Kenan Thompson, Kal Penn and Kevin Christy — who provide the film's few laughs.

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  • Released: 2003
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: All the money in the world couldn't have saved actress-turned-filmmaker Troy Beyer's lewd, obnoxious, product placement-laden remake of the sweet and simple romantic comedy CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (1987). Smart but geeky high school senior Alvin Johnson (Nick Ca… (more)

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