Amy Adams as: Kathryn Merteuil
Directed by: Roger Kumble
Written by: Roger Kumble
Selected Cast: Robin Dunne, Sarah Thompson, Keri Lynn Pratt
Release Date: November 9, 2000 (Hungary video premiere)
Genre: Drama / Comedy
MPAA Rating: R
Seduce and destory.
A prequel based on the 1999 theatrical film Cruel Intentions, a modern-day version of Choderlos De Laclos’ 18th century novel Dangerous Liaisons. Manchester, a prestigious New York prep school, provides the backdrop to sex, scandal and betrayal among the Upper East Side’s teenage elite. Sebastian Valmont has just moved in with his philandering father’s Manhattan family. A unique sibling rivalry is borne between Sebastian and his new step-sister Kathryn. As he shuns her attempts to impress him with money and power, he resists the growing attraction between them. Meanwhile, the manipulative Kathryn and her cohorts, a secret society called the Manchester Tribunal, plot to control the destiny of all who cross their path, including Cecile, a naive freshman. Sebastian must choose between joining the underground group or falling for Annette, the headmaster’s daughter and Kathryn’s nemesis.
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Amy plays the wickedly delicious Kathryn Merteuil. This is by far one of Amy’s most shocking and unpredictable roles, many would probably be shocked to see the Enchanted darling in a role like this. Still, it’s further proof of Amy’s versatility. Kathryn is a vindictive seductress who will stop at nothing to get exactly what she wants. It is one of Amy’s biggest roles to date but quantity isn’t everything as the film is a poor mediocre version of the enjoyable original and some of her finer smaller roles. Still, fans should check out it for a totally new look at Amy’s arsenol of performances and characters, and the fact that she is in the entire thing makes it watchable.
• Filmed in New York, California, USA and Ontario, Candada.
• In the original Cruel Intentions, Sarah Michelle Gellar is Kathryn Merteuil and Ryan Phillippe is Sebastian.
• This film was originally a TV series based on Cruel Intentions (1999) titled “Manchester Prep” with three hour-long episodes filmed: the pilot (#1.1), Pretty in Plaid (#1.2), and Disfunction Junction (#1.3). They were scheduled to premiere on the Fox network in the fall of 1999, but the show was canceled before any of the episodes aired. The scene where Cherie has orgasms on the horse in Episode #1.3 reportedly outraged Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch. New explicit scenes and dialogue were added to footage from the pilot and the first two episodes to make this film. The plot was reworked to serve as a prequel to Cruel Intentions rather then a re-telling.
• The trailer (that’s included with the DVD release) features a lot of scenes that were originally recorded for the TV series and never show up in the movie.
• On the DVD, there are ‘Talent Files’ for each of the four main actors (Robin Dunne, Amy Adams, Sarah Thompson, and Keri Lynn Pratt). Keri Lynn Pratt played ‘Cherie Claymon’, but in her file, it lists her character as ‘Cecile Caldwell’. Cecile Caldwell doesn’t appear in this film. She is played by Selma Blair in the original Cruel Intentions (1999), which takes place years after this film. However, Cecile and Cherie both have a few things in common: they are both daughters of socialites; ditzy; virgins when they start at Manchester; and both lose their virginity while attending there.
“Cruel Intentions 2 is less an extension of the original than a loose remake, with its tortured playboy protagonist (Robin Dunne, replacing Ryan Phillippe) again forced to choose between true love (in the form of virginal Sarah Thompson) and the cold-hearted manipulation of stepsister Amy Adams. Dunne makes for a far more affable antihero than Phillippe, playing the character less as a vicious seducer than as a basically decent young man with an overactive libido and a healthy sense of mischief. Thankfully, Adams more than compensates for the meanness void Dunne leaves unfilled, tearing into her alpha-bitch role with vicious glee largely missing from Sarah Michelle Gellar’s sterile take on the character.” – Nathan Rabin, AV Club