‘New Best Friend’

“New Best Friend” (1999/2001, Rated R, 90 minutes) available from Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment

Stars: Mia Kirshner, Meredith Monroe, Dominique Swain, Scott Bairstow, Rachel True, and Taye Diggs

Plot: A cop (Diggs) investigates the suspicious circumstances behind an accident involving a new local girl (Kirshner) who gets more than she ever bargained for when she “befriends” the most popular girl (Monroe) at her new school and becomes apart of her elite clique.

Final Word: This film is every bit as debauched as its heir apparent, Cruel Intentions (1999), some might argue more so. To witness Monroe, who played the sweet-natured, yet emotional troubled girlfriend of Pacey on “Dawson’s Creek,” sink her teeth into the role of a unrepentant, self-involved rich bitch is something that has to be seen to be appreciated. In fact, just about everyone here is playing the polar opposite of what we’re used to seeing them play, except Swain, who finally gets to tart it up in a way that being jailbait age prevented her from doing opposite Jeremy Irons in director Adrian Lyne’s remake of Lolita. Diggs’ on-again, off-again southern accent is one of the film’s unintentional running gags, though even as a kind of nerdish character, his trademark cool charisma still radiates.

Rating: 3 briefs (out of 5)