Cruel Intentions

Cruel Intentions

Roger Kumble (1999)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Dangerous Liaisons for the under-20s is the basic premise of this sexed-up, revved-up teen picture. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe star as the contemporary Merteuil and Valmont, circulating round the upper echelons of New York society and laying their bet as to whether or not Phillippe can bed Reese Witherspoon. You can understand why writer/director Roger Kumble saw the classic novel as an apt metaphor for burgeoning sexuality and exploration, but the crucial distinction is that Merteuil and Valmont, when played as middle-aged, have the motive of bitter life experience to fuel their dangerous games. With teenagers at its centre, the same plot seems to reverberate with unprovoked spite. The depth gone, this is simply an entertaining romp that's easily surpassed by Stephen Frears's earlier adaptation of the tale.


A spoilt wealthy teenager challenges her equally cruel stepbrother to seduce a newcomer at their school, who has pledged to remain a virgin until she marries. The practised charmer agrees to the task - especially since his stepsister has offered to sleep with him if he succeeds - only to find himself falling in love. Drama based on Dangerous Liaisons, with Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair.

Cast & Crew

Sebastian Valmont Ryan Phillippe
Annette Hargrove Reese Witherspoon
Kathryn Merteuil Sarah Michelle Gellar
Cecile Caldwell Selma Blair
Helen Rosemond Louise Fletcher
Blaine Tuttle Joshua Jackson
Greg McConnell Eric Mabius
Ronald Clifford Sean Patrick Thomas
Director Roger Kumble
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia PicturesGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes and drug abuse. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray