Review: Monte Carlo DVD

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Thomas Bezucha | CAST: Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy, Leighton Meester, Andie MacDowell, Cory Monteith, Brett Cullen
RELEASE DATE: 10/18/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.99
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted scenes, more
SPECS: PG | 109 min. | Romantic comedy adventure | 1.85:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Selena Gomez, TV star of Disney Channel’s long-running Wizards of Waverly Place, pop singer and Justin Bieber squeeze, does a solid job in dual roles in the movie Monte Carlo, a modern, female retelling of The Prince and the Pauper.

In the film, she plays Grace, a part-time Texas waitress and recent high school grad who is heading to Paris on a dream vacation. Joining her are her free-spirited best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy, Taken) and kill-joy stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester, TV’s Gossip Girl ).

Monte Carlo movie scene

Leighton Meester (l.), Selena Gomez (ctr.) and Katie Cassidy step out on the way to Monte Carlo.

In the City of Lights, the trio deals with a rushed sightseeing schedule, a seedy hotel and a case of mistaken identity that has Grace posing as snooty socialite Cordelia (also played by Gomez). That leads to them rerouting their trip to glamorous Monte Carlo. Of course good-looking guys such as an Australian (Luke Bracy, Dance Academy), the son of a European aristocrat (Pierre Boulanger, Monsieur Ibrahim) and Emma’s Texas boyfriend (Cory Monteith, TV’s Glee), play a part in the gals’ adventures.

Although it disappointed in theaters, Monte Carlo will find an audience on DVD and Blu-ray with ‘tweens who worship at the altar of Gomez and those seeking a pleasant, nice-to-look-at time waster. It’s frothy, harmless fun for at least the distaff part of the family.

Among the special features on the DVD are seven deleted scenes, including one lively one where the gals have a little fun on Paris’ beautiful Pont Des Arts Bridge and another where Catherine Tate’s (The Bad Mother’s Handbook) overbearing character of Alicia has a colorful run-in with Ms. Gomez while she’s in Cordelia mode.

Also included is a “Backstage Pass” featurette, which offers a few rapid-fire  interview snippets with Selena and company as the makeup and wardrobe departments get them ready for a scene.

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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.