Throughout the ages, we've heard many stories of family discord. There's the Oresteia--which, as it happens, is the only extant Greek trilogy (minus the satyr, unfortunately, but more complete than any other Greek cycle). We also have King Lear, of course, and The Metamorphosis, The Virgin Suicides, Atonement, and pretty much anything William Faulkner ever wrote. But for those of us who came of age in the late 1990s or the early 2000s, the prime example of familial dysfunction has to be Cruel Intentions.
An update of Dangerous Liaisons for the teen set, Cruel Intentions is the movie that brought Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon together and gave us Sarah Michelle Gellar making out with Selma Blair. (No, seriously, though, that scene will live in teen flick infamy until the end of days. I can almost guarantee it.)
For all of its awesome moments--Selma Blair and Sean Patrick Thomas with that cello! Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon's every exchange! Joshua Jackson's hilarious turn as an informant/confidant! Christine Baranski's uptight society mother!--the standout is definitely Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was already well-known as Buffy on the long-running series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, returning to her roots as a bad girl (she had been Erica Kane's conniving daughter Kendall Hart on All My Children for two years in the mid-1990s). Plus she had that cross that doubled as a cocaine receptacle which, while totally not cool on a health, legal, or social level, is so appropriate to her character that you can't help but be impressed.
If you haven't yet seen Cruel Intentions, you definitely should, if for nothing more than the final sequence, which is the absolute best ending for this particular story.
Buy through Best Buy for $9.99.
Image via the Internet Movie Database.