From Justin to Kelly
May 7th, 2012
Todd is at the piano, struggling to come up with a script for his review for...
- Clip of Gotye - "Somebody That I Used to Know"
- Gotye: Now and then, I think of when we were together
All he has so far is...
Todd: I j...I just got nothing.
Todd (VO): Like...this is the #1 song in the country? This? I...I don't know anything about this guy, I don't have any Gotye material.
Todd: [tearing page out of notebook] Screw it. What was #1 last week?
- Clip of fun. - "We Are Young"
- Nate Ruess: Give me a second, I...
- I need to get my story straight.
Todd can't figure it out
Todd (VO): When the hell did cerebral indie acts get the #1 song in the country for weeks at a time?! I review stupid crap! How can I make an episode if this is what's popular?!
Todd: How am I gonna pay my bills? [A thought occurs...] I suppose I could do the crossover thing...get someone else to do the heavy lifting for me. But who?
Nash: What, after all those times you've hijacked Radio Dead Air to play those awful requests? Hell, no.
Todd: [going through smartphone] Lupa...stopped answering my calls.
Linkara: [indignant, reading Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink] Oh, so now you wanna do a crossover, huh?! Are you sure you don't wanna just laugh for twenty minutes about how I'm a nerd?! Go bite me!
Todd: Spoony's still mad at me for camping out on his lawn.
SadPanda: [holding X-Box to ear like phone] Yeah, yeah, that's sounds great. I have no idea who you are. Goodbye.
Todd: Damn it, I guess I can't do that idea either. Shit. [Phone rings. He thinks he knows who it is, and checking the caller ID, he is sadly right. He reluctantly answers.] Hi, Nostalgia Chick.
Nostalgia Chick: [fairly fast] Hi, Todd. So, I heard that you were looking to do another crossover because you didn't really feel like doing all the legwork, which I would happily do, and I've been looking at From Justin to Kelly, and I saw it a bunch of times already, so I was wondering, if you really, you know, were interested, we could do another crossover since the last one we did went so well and well, I hadn't even...didn't even need to tie you up, and um... Yeah, you wanna do another crossover with me?
[Todd just holds the phone]
So...what do you think?
All right, seriously, Todd, [holding up...] I'm looking at your tax records right now, so I know how poor you are and how badly you need money, so you can either do a review with me, or you can keep Dumpster-diving at the local Arby's. What's it gonna be?
[Sing-songy] I already bought you a train ticket.
[Todd buries his face, knowing he has no choice now. Cut to...]
[Nostalgia Chick happily hugging a depressed Todd] [squeals] I knew you'd come review with me.
Todd: Yeah, let's get this over with. Ahem, From Justin to Kelly.
- Movie begins over Kelly Clarkson's cover of "Vacation"
- Kelly Clarkson: Vacation, all I ever wanted
Todd (VO): Well, let's start with what it's about.
Todd: Tell them what it's about.
Nostalgia Chick: [what is it about] Well...there's a...
Nostalgia Chick (VO): ...girl named Kelly and a guy named Justin, and the movie goes from one of them to the other. There was a dance number in it, and...sand was involved.
Todd: Is that it?
Nostalgia Chick: Well, you summarize the damn thing.
Todd: Okay. Okay, so...
Todd (VO): ...there definitely was a Justin...and a Kelly...and, yes, there was sand, so...must've been on a beach or a...desert maybe, and...[reaching] they search for buried treasure, I think?
Todd: No, that's something else, hold on.
Nostalgia Chick: The point we're trying to make is that this film is not terribly memorable.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Even its legacy as a bad movie is a little baffling to me. It's listed among the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in [cover of...] The Official Razzie Movie Guide, and it's really not. [Posters of...] Battlefield Earth is enjoyably bad, Showgirls is enjoyably bad, hell, even Crossroads is somewhat enjoyably bad. From Justin to Kelly is the cinematic equivalent of watching someone slow...ly [footage of...] scrape the burnt part off the toast. And failing.
- Footage from American Idol: Season 1
Todd (VO): The fact of its existence is way more interesting than the act of actually watching it. I don't understand how anyone could think that American Idol's first season—which was successful, but nowhere near the phenomenon it would become—could support a movie. At that point, they hadn't even proven that the show could succeed in its stated goal of making a successful pop star, let alone make a successful movie musical anchored by two kids whose only demonstrated talent, at that point, was singing karaoke. At the end of the first season, Justin and Kelly were [cover of Rolling Stone, featuring Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson] not even the biggest stars on American Idol, let alone people who could hold down a feature film.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): My original theory is that it was conceived by aliens who were trying to mimic the film-making ways of the hu-man. But keep in mind that American Idol producer Simon Fuller did have a reason to believe that quickie film cash-in on a pop culture fad could work. [Poster for Spice World] It worked for him before...kind of.
Nostalgia Chick: But it definitely does not work here. Even the tagline is baffling. [Movie poster zoomed in] "The tale of the American idols"?
- Season 1 finale, with Kelly winning
Nostalgia Chick (VO): "The tale of the American Idols" is that there was an overblown talent show that got really high ratings on Fox, where this person beat this person, and they had no relationship other than that. [Back to movie] The thing that was filmed was like a spring-break dance party thrown by Mormons where these two fall in love, as if we're supposed to pretend they fell in love in real life, and that one didn't directly ruin the hopes and dreams of the other.
- Brandon (Greg Siff): Dude, this year's spring break is gonna rock!
- Justin: Yeah, man, I've barely recovered from last year.
Todd (VO): Okay, so, what actually happens in the movie is that Kelly's friends are dragging her to Florida for spring break, where they meet Justin and his friends, who run a party service, despite the fact that they apparently have no business plan or resources, and are only rarely seen doing work.
Todd: But who cares! WOOOO!!! SPRING BREAK!!!
- Motel Clerk: No smoking, no drinking, no loud music, and no girls.
Todd: Dude, spring break. What do you run here, a youth group ministry?
Nostalgia Chick: Now, now, maybe it's a gay hostel.
Todd (VO): Okay, let's talk about the setting. Now, spring break, as we all know, is a time of crazed debauchery where young out-of-towners have drunken orgies on the sidewalk while being filmed. I think the film is trying to live up to that image, what with its whipped-cream bikinis and crazed mobs attacking Justin for his free margarita coupons, but in a fundamental way, this movie just does not get it. The beach scenes in this movie look like they came from a spring-break DVD called Girls Gone Mild. And I think someone takes a drink, like, once.
Nostalgia Chick: It's MTV's Summer Beach House filtered through the lens of a middle school assistant principal.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): It's so innocent, they can't even show Kelly in a bikini...except in one scene. This is as beachy as she gets.
Todd: Your average Disney Channel sitcom gets raunchier than this. [Beat] Not that I watch those.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Not helping either are the leads themselves.
Nostalgia Chick: Justin Guarini, in the real world right now, is a straight guy who's actually married to a woman. No, really.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): But you really wouldn't know that from watching this movie.
- Justin smacks whipped cream on some guy's bare chest
Todd (VO): Tomboyish Kelly Clarkson, meanwhile, is so not up to being the sexy leading lady, that you almost keep mistaking one of her friends there as the actual star of the movie.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Here is where Justin and Kelly meet.
- Justin: [dancing with Kelly] I've been watchin' you awhile
- And I really like your smile
Nostalgia Chick (VO): They dance once, for like ten seconds, and they will have developed such a deep connection from this, they will spend the rest of the movie trying to reconnect. And that's the entire movie—will these no-chemistry non-actors meet so they can fulfill their destiny of true love?
Todd: Well, that's not the only thing that's going on here. Kelly and Justin both have their respective posses and they all have subplots, so I think I need to give you a detailed analysis of each of their characters. Ahem, [shots from film with other images, starting with Justin...] Zack, [...Brandon...] Slater, [...Eddie...] Screech, [...Kelly...] Kelly, [...Kaya...] Jessie, [...and Alexa with the Wicked Witch of the West] evil whore. Not sure how that last one got in there.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Let's go through their subplots in order. The guy who looks like the Angry Video Game Nerd is indeed a nerd and he does all sorts of nerd things like get sunburned, be threatened by jocks and, get this, try to find this chick he met...online?
Eddie (Brian Dietzen): I've been cyberchatting with this girl for. like, a year. We're finally gonna meet on spring break. She's so hot. You guys should see her webpage, it's really well-designed.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): She has a webpage?
Nostalgia Chick: [snorts] What kind of loser does things on the Internet? [Looks at Todd, both almost winking to us]
Todd (VO): Also, you have to buy the idea that these Internet nerds met on her webpage, yet weren't technologically advanced enough to exchange cell phone numbers.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): In 2003, meeting people on the Internet was not novel.
- Eddie: Hot2trot@markmail.com?
- Lizzie (Toi Svane Stepp): All4captainpicard@deeplife.com?
Nostalgia Chick (VO): This movie has heard of nerds; I'm not certain it has actually ever encountered one.
Todd (VO): Now, the jocky stupid one's deal is that he hits on women and gets busted by this one female beach cop over and over again.
- Brandon: Has anyone ever told you you have beautiful eyes, Officer Cutler?
- Officer Cutler (Theresa San-Nicholas): Let me give you my number.
- Brandon: [as Cutler walks aways] Wait, this isn't your number, this is a ticket!
Todd (VO): WHAAA?!
Nostalgia Chick (VO): And he gets ticketed again...
- Brandon: Event permit?
Nostalgia Chick (VO): ...and again, [Brandon is chased by a big guy] and ag...wait, what was he getting ticketed for that time?
- Brandon crashes into a table, right at Cutler's feet.
- (That is NOT his fault, lady.)
- Brandon: How much do I owe?
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Anika Noni Rose, a.k.a. the [picture of Rose by The Princess and the Frog poster] future Princess Tiana, has the best—by which I mean the least-insulting—storyline. She hooks up with a hot local guy, but then decides to be all concerned about his life and stuff, and he's not interested in being condescended to by some out-of-town college girl.
- Carlos (Jason Yribar): We both know what this is. You know, in a couple days, you'll go home back to your friends and you'll tell them all your wild stories. You'll tell them about the guy you picked up, except you won't even remember his name.
Todd (VO): And it's just odd, because this actor is just playing it way too straight for this movie, and he seems too real to be in this universe, and too smart to be working this job.
- Carlos: Five-and-a-quarter an hour, scraping beans off plates and filling urinals with ice. I'm living the dream.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Like, hey buddy. How—How are you still a busboy? You're 30 and you speak perfect English, and I must assume you're bilingual, and you live in Florida. So you're either a [mugshot of William Dahlquist] felon or a [picture of striped-jumpsuit-wearing convict stealing computer] felon. And then she stupidly gets up on her high horse and bitches out his boss for treating him badly, which, of course, gets him immediately fired because...duh, he's a replaceable busboy.
- Mr. O'Mara (Marc Macaulay): I didn't realize you were so unhappy.
- Carlos: Mr. O'Mara...
- Mr. O'Mara: You're fired.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): And at first, he's angry at her, but then he realizes that she was right and decides to pursue his dreams.
Todd: And those dreams are...I don't know, he never says. Maybe...maybe it's to sell meth.
Todd (VO): But that's enough of the extraneous crap, let's get to the main plot of the story—Kelly and Justin's summer lovin'. You see, after those mind-blowing 15 to 30 seconds from earlier, they just can't stay out of each other's minds, especially after this hot and sizzling scene, where they meet after Justin ducks into a bathroom to hide from crazed women who want his free drink coupons.
- Justin: Hey, we met at the beach, right?
- Kelly: Yeah, my friends call me Kelly, for short.
Todd: Short for what?
- Kelly: Yeah, my friends call me Kelly, for short.
Todd (VO): Kel...issa? Kelandria? Kelificent?
- Kelly: Every girls' bathroom has a secret escape door.
- [Kelly hoists Justin through the window]
- Justin: [pushes through to ground] No...no, slowly. Ow!
Todd (VO): And things look all right at first, but then she finds out what a wild, crazy, Animal House party machine he is when her friends push her into joining his whipped cream bikini contest because she has awful friends.
- Kelly: It's humiliating and degrading...
- Kaya (Anika Noni Rose): ...and fattening.
Nostalgia Chick: Fattening? You don't absorb whipped cream.
- Alexa (Katherine Bailess): Come on.
Todd (VO): And of course, Kelly does not want to participate because she is, as always, a [text appears] strong, independent woman. [™ symbol appears after text, with a ding]
- Kelly: You're BR&J parties?
- Justin: Not all of them. Just the J.
- [Cut to the girls walking away]
- Kaya: The guy's a jerk.
- Kelly: You know what? I just don't get it. He seemed so different when I met him.
Nostalgia Chick: [mocking] He just seemed so nice when he jumped into the girls' bathroom and then I pushed him out of the window.
So basically, Kelly spends most of the movie being put off by Justin's party-mongering ways, and Justin spends most of the movie trying to win her back.
- Kelly: You organized this. I can't believe you.
Todd: Good...good line read, Kelly. Perfect.
Nostalgia Chick: You know the phrase, "jack of all trades and master of none"?
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Kelly Clarkson is the opposite of that—she is really good at one thing, and not so good at anything else.
Todd (VO): Kelly Clarkson is not a great dancer, and she's definitely not an actress, and she's definitely, definitely not a leading lady. But being a bad actress is one thing, everyone's bad in this movie. Kelly is a different level of bad—the kind of bad that screams, "I don't want to be here!"
- Justin: What can I do to make it up to you?
- Kelly: You can shave all the hair on your head except for [points to two spots at front] here and here.
- Justin: All right.
- Kelly: I'm kidding.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Can't you tell by my jovial tone?
Todd (VO): Justin is at least trying—maybe because he understands that this is his last shot at being famous—but Kelly already won the contest. She seems to know instinctively that this won't be good for her résumé or her career.
Todd: I mean, look, I got nothing against silly productions starring a bunch of non-actors. I was [art for Suburban Knights] in a couple of those. But we weren't forced to be in those out of contractual obligation.
Nostalgia Chick: Maybe you weren't.
[Nostalgia Chick pouts]
- Justin: So we're still on for the marina at 4:00?
- Kelly: Yes, yes! But if I see any sign of any nondairy whipped topping, I'm leaving.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): She's a peach. I can see why you like her, Justin.
- Justin: [untying boat from dock] All right, here we go.
Todd: Okay, now pay attention 'cause this is the big love duet of the movie. This is their [clips from Aladdin...] "A Whole New World" flying magic carpet sequence, this is their [...West Side Story] Tony and Maria on a balcony gazing into each other's eyes. Let's feel the passion.
- The song is "Timeless"
- Justin: Baby, come close, let me tell you this
Nostalgia Chick (VO): "Baby, come close"? Um, they're standing nowhere near each other, movie.
- Kelly: We shouldn't let the moment pass
- You're makin' me shiver, let's make it last
Todd (VO): Feel the passion. Yeah, fee...try looking at each other, for Christ's sake! God, at this point in the movie, their romantic high point was saying hello to each other. And this is supposed to make us believe they're in love?
Nostalgia Chick (VO): God, these two have such non-chemistry that when they first meet, you kind of assume that they're gonna go solve a mystery or something, not fall in love.
- Justin: Look, there's definitely something going on between us. You know what I mean? (No, I definitely don't.)
- Kelly: I see it all, baby...
Todd (VO): This is incompetent. Can we just have one shot of them looking at each other during the song? Just...just one. Maybe...maybe...no.
- Kelly: Just let the moment sweep us both away
- Justin: Just let...
Nostalgia Chick: How's this for a love song? [singing] I beat you on American Idol
I'm the one who's gonna have a career after this
Todd: Well, we've clearly established the romance of the century. So where's the conflict exactly?
- Alexa: He said he needed to see me. He said it was important and not to tell you. And then he said the only reason he was seeing you was to get close to me.
- Ominous music
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Yep, it's the evil whore who comes to ruin everything. She's the only thing driving the plot, if you can call it that, at all. An antagonist, if you will. She's apparently always been jealous of Kelly's girl-next-door appeal.
- Alexa: ...it's easy for you. I mean, you get people to see who you really are and...
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Really? And aims to keep her and Justin apart so she can have Justin all to herself. And really, when you see such a shining, curly-headed specimen of a man in all his awkwardly hairdoed beauty, wouldn't you stab a close friend in the back? And she gets her chance to ruin things when Justin loses Kelly's number.
- Kelly: [tossing her number to Justin] Call me.
- [The number falls into a puddle]
Todd (VO): She's still there, dude. Just call up there. Get her....you idiot.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): And Evil Whore switches out Kelly's number with her own so she can intercept Justin's messages and try to keep them from reaching Kelly. Then again, considering that Justin was trying to send Kelly such sweeping romantic poetry as "I O U A BRGR," I'm not sure she wasn't doing them both a favor.
Todd: I have a question—why do girls always have the token evil friend?
- Alexa: Kelly, I don't mean to burst your bubble, but I don't know about Justin.
- Kaya: Why are we friends with her?
Todd: That's a good question. That's an excellent question.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Evil Whore even goes so far as to pull this one guy from back home who has a crush on Kelly all the way to Florida in a transparent attempt to pad the movie...I mean, to have someone to challenge Justin for Kelly's affections.
Nostalgia Chick: And how does the modern man solve matters of the heart with dignity and masculinity? With hovercraft basketball, of course.
- Brandon: Hover dudes, go!
- [Justin and Luke start the contest, leaving Todd and Nostalgia Chick just going, "what?"]
Todd (VO): This is the worst episode of Wild & Crazy Kids I've ever seen.
- One hovercraft crash later, Luke is laid out
- Kelly: Luke, can you hear me?
Todd: He had a helmet.
- Brandon: [to Officer Cutler] I take it gambling on hovercrafts, not so legal.
Todd: No one knew you were gambling.
- Officer Cutler: No, not so legal.
Todd: Why isn't he in jail?
Nostalgia Chick (VO): And yes, the Evil Whore is so evil, she even gets a full-on villain song.
- Alexa: I'm gonna wish upon a star
- I wanna go a bit too far
- Need a little love to get me by
Todd: I can't even tell what key she's in!
Nostalgia Chick: Yeah, about the songs in this movie.
Todd (VO): For a show all about judging music, American Idol has proven over and over again that they can't make their own original music for shit. Justin and Kelly are both oversinging like hell in this because that's what American Idol teaches you to do, but they probably couldn't have saved any of this soulless drivel regardless. There is not a single redeeming song. Not one.
- Kelly and Kaya: [singing "Madness" to a massive choreographed dance]
- Bomb da bomb
- A bomb diggy
- Bomb da bomb
- A bomb diggy
- Bomb da bomb
- Clip of American Idol audition
- Simon: This is a complete and utter waste of time.
- Justin: [singing "The Luv (The Bounce)"] Look like she just wants to play
- So go over.
- Eddie: No, I'll stay
- Another audition
- Simon: That sounded like Stevie Wonder with a really bad cold.
- Cast: That's the way, uh-huh
- I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh
- Here's one more
- Simon: Terrible.
Todd (VO): The music is so bad, they didn't even release the soundtrack. That's how bad it is.
- Alexa: Let's head back to the hotel.
- Kaya: [as Alexa knocks over her purse] Oh, Lex. Your phone.
- [Kelly picks it up and finds this message: "KLY, SORRY IT HAD 2 END THIS WAY. GUESS NOT IN STRZ. JSTN"]
Nostalgia Chick (VO): Well, I'm just gonna sit here and let you read all those and make no attempt to get my phone back.
- Kelly: How could you do this to me?
- Alexa: I don't know! I just thought if I could get Justin to like me, then...maybe I can be as good as you.
Todd: Right, that's insane and horrible. Again, why are they friends with you?
Todd (VO): Well, the climax, if you can call it that, is that Evil Whore calls Justin and reveals that she's been lying to them both to keep them apart, and all is forgiven. A simple resolution to a simple non-conflict.
- Justin: [singing "Anytime"] Just hold on to my love
- Justin and Kelly: And baby, let me give you more
Todd (VO): Well, you two underqualified reality show contestants...
Todd: ...you may have been forced to be here by contractual obligation to the whims of horrible, heartless studio executives, but at least you made it to the end of the movie. [demonic voice] Now kiss!!!
- Justin and Kelly kiss
Todd (VO): Ugh, so awkward.
- Cast: That's the way, uh-huh
- I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh
Nostalgia Chick (VO): And so we end with another theme park musical number and, presumably, we're just supposed to believe that all of these couples stayed together, even though they all live several states away from each other.
Todd: 'Cause let's be real here, people. Long-distance relationships never work.
Nostalgia Chick: [in a wink-wink way] They never ever work.
Nostalgia Chick (VO): The big question on this film's utterly covered-in-shadow production history—why this movie? If you wanted to make a film about American Idol, why not make a film about American Idol? [American Idol footage] Why not make it a fake account about how these two people met during a contest, fell in love or something, with the knowledge that only one could win? Have it be a musical [poster for...] Hunger Games with slightly less killing.
Todd (VO): And here's the other thing about that. The plot has singing in it, but the film itself has nothing to do with singing. Even [posters of...] Glitter and Crossroads remembered to shoehorn that in. Even [clip of...] High School Musical, a movie as cheap and lazy as I'd ever seen, had a smoother plot than this.
- Cast: That's the way, uh-huh
- I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh
Todd (VO): Okay, well, here's the way I like it.
Movie stops, leaving static and white noise
Nostalgia Chick: And we're done. And wasn't it so much fun, these bad pop star movies? [Rests her head on Todd's shoulder] Don't you want to do these things with me all the time?
Todd: No. [Nostalgia Chick gets sad] No, I didn't enjoy that at all. Wh...what am I doing here? I'm never doing a crossover again. I'm leaving!
Nostalgia Chick: I made you lasagna.
Todd: Oh, really? Well, I co...no! No! I'm done! I'm going back to reviewing inane pop music like I should've been doing to begin with! Bye!
Gets up and leaves, pushing Nostalgia Chick aside. He comes back home and sits at his post.
Todd: Let's do this. [Thinks about and writes in his notebook]
"Gotye is some guy."
Todd just falls onto the piano.
Todd: Goddamn it!
Closing tag song: From Justin to Kelly - "Madness" (feat. Kelly Clarkson)
"From Justin to Kelly" is owned by 19 Entertainment
This video is owned by me