“Hey, you're the girl from the beach.”
Oh yeah, this review is happening!!!
Let me just start by defending myself with watching and reviewing From Justin to Kelly… when I first saw this movie I was fourteen years old. I was and still am a massive Kelly Clarkson fan. I watched her win American Idol and I have seen every single tour she has done since the American Idol tour. The last time I watched From Justin to Kelly before watching it for this review was thirteen years ago when it came out on DVD. Even my fourteen year old self knew this movie was a shit show and I never watched it after that until today. And it was so painful! For those of you with a strong stomach or maybe secretly want to know what it is about or maybe there are those who are massive Kelly fans like me and want to relive a fun exciting time in their lives when it was the only time American Idol was ever good, read on for a summary.
Kelly is a waitress from Texas (no name change and no stretch from her life before becoming famous). Her two friends Kaya and Alexis come to the bar she works at and beg her to come with them to Florida for Spring Break. Kelly is reluctant to go until she looks over at this pain in the ass cowboy guy named Luke who is always hitting on her and agrees to go with them.
Already down in Florida are Justin and his friends Brandon and Eddie. They apparently run an entertainment company that specializes in Spring Break parties. Really it is more of a front for Justin and Brandon to pick up girls. Eddie is a nerd through and through, the only reason I can guess he is in this group is because the three of them have been friends since they were young and just let Eddie tag along and they ignore him.
As soon as Kelly, Kaya, and Alexis get down to Florida they head to the beach. Since this is a musical, when they get on the beach everyone busts out into song and start dancing with each other. Kelly and Justin dance together. When the song and dance is over neither can get the other out of their mind and begin looking for each other at another party. At this party Justin is giving away wrist bands to Brandon’s whipped cream bikini contest and girls rush him for one. He runs away straight into the women’s bathroom. And, oh, look who happens to be in the women’s bathroom at that time, Kelly! She helps him jump out the window. After he ungracefully lands she writes down her phone number on a napkin with lipstick and throws it to him. Unfortunately the napkin lands in the water.
Justin is able to find Alexis. As soon as he mentions that he is interested in Kelly Alexis becomes jealous and instead of giving him Kelly’s number she give him her own. Alexis begins her backstabbing almost as soon as Justin walks away by texting him as Kelly that she is not interested in seeing him. She also gets Kelly to hate Justin and stop talking about him by signing her up for Brandon’s contest to show her what Justin does. Of course Kelly gets pissed and does not want to talk to him. And of course Justin apologizes to her and she forgives him.
Then after this it is a big back and forth of Alexis being a bitch and making Kelly and Justin hate each other. And then, oh my god, a happy ending! Kelly and Justin get together. (When I saw this in theaters oh so many years ago, a guy, yes I said a guy, stood up and clapped when Kelly and Justin kissed! I remember just rolling my eyes at how cheesy and terrible the kiss was and also grossed out because I HATED Justin Guarini).
Ugh, my brain hurts from the pure shit this story is.
Let me point out, yet again, that this movie is thirteen years old. At this time texting was just becoming a thing. There were no smart phones the phones looks like small weird bricks with screens that looked like computer screens from the late eighties/early nineties. I must talk about the fact that Eddie is down in Florida mostly to meet a girl he had been talking to on an “internet chat room”. I do not know if those things exist anymore but I sure remember them! (They were really sketchy I think I went one once.) When the guys were in their rooms Eddie asked if there was internet connection and then proceeded to plug in a cable to the phone! Oh any possible young ones reading this review the struggles you do not have to go through. I remember having to dial up to get onto AOL and searching the American Idol website for pictures of the contestants. I also remember downloading all of Kelly’s songs from AI on LimeWire. What a time to be young.
I am also going to get into the clothes because they were truly awful. The early 2000s were one of the worst times for fashion. The movie is full of baggy pants for both the guys and girls with tight tops and running sneakers. There is a scene where Kelly was dressed in a tight halter tank top with a skirt made up of ties. Yikes! I remember always wanting to wear somewhat baggy pants because I hated it when they moved up when I sat. Now I only wear skinny jeans and I despise baggy pants. When I think back to some of the outfits/clothes I would wear in high school I get a shiver down my back. I mean, I am not the world’s greatest dresser by any means but let me tell you I know how to dress myself a lot better now.
Should I even go into the acting at all? Eh, I am trashing this movie left and right in every other way so why not trash some acting. Kelly Clarkson was not too bad. She had done some acting in high school and either before or after this she had been on an episode of Reba and she was adorable. Since this movie Kelly has been a guest on several TV shows. Justin Guarini was not too terrible he managed to give a decent performance. Greg Siff, who played Brandon, I do not think has done anything really mentionable since this movie. I remember seeing him in a teen magazine some time later. He may have been in a Disney channel movie I do not know and I am not going to go look for it. Anyone watch NCIS? The poor bastard who plays Eddie is Brian Dietzen aka Jimmy Palmer from NCIS. A few years ago I was watching an episode of the show and I kept asking myself why Palmer looked so familiar and sure enough it was because he was in From Justin to Kelly. I hope the guy shoved this movie as far away in his memory as he could. The actress who played Alexia was god awful.
I will say the only redeeming aspect of the movie is the soundtrack. I still to this day have them all on my iPod and occasionally listen to them (according to IMDB a soundtrack was never physically released because the record label did not want it to take away from the releases of Kelly's album. Actually, “Anytime” is on Kelly’s Thankful and “Timeless” is on Justin’s album). When “The Bounce”, the song where Kelly and Justin meet, came up I knew the whole damn thing!
From Justin to Kelly is a shit show. Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini were contractually obligated to make this movie after American Idol. Kelly tried and begged to be let out of this deal but obviously that did not work. From beginning to end the movie is just a horror of early 2000s camera shots and pure cheese.
I only watched From Justin to Kelly today because I am seeing Kelly Clarkson in concert tonight for her Piece By Piece Tour. Seriously, the movies I will watch and the things I put myself through for someone I am a fan of! I cannot suggest From Justin to Kelly to even the most diehard Kelly Clarkson fans like myself. As a fan I cannot even handle it let alone someone who may just casually like her. Stay as far away from From Justin to Kelly as you can!