Drive me Crazy

USA 1999

Reviewed by Mike Higgins


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

US, the present. High-school senior Chase Hammond has just been dumped by his girlfriend. His neighbour Nicole Maris is failing to impress the school's star basketball player. In order to make their quarries jealous, they decide to pretend they are dating one another. The introspective Chase changes his image to suit the pert Nicole, thereby earning the suspicion of his two friends. With Chase at her side, Nicole realises that being one of the school's in-crowd isn't as rewarding as it once was. The pair grow closer.

Chase is unhappy with the contempt his new acquaintances have for his old friends; Nicole is devastated when she spies Chase kissing her best friend . Days before the school prom, the pair split up. At the prom Nicole is reconciled with Chase and her too-often-absent father. Arriving home, the children discover that Chase's father has spent the night with Nicole's mother.


Pity the jobbing director, for whom the high-school feature was once bread-and-butter work to be churned out well away from the glare of publicity. Since Amy Heckerling's smart Jane Austen adaptation Clueless, US high schools - at least those portrayed in a crop of recent movies - have played host to Shakespeare (10 Things I Hate about You), Choderlos de Laclos (Cruel Intentions), entrepreneurial skulduggery (Rushmore), and real-politik allegory (Election). This is not to suggest that all of the new intake have thrived in their new surroundings; but enough have succeeded to raise our expectations of whatever next the genre has to offer. All of which is bad news for John Schultz's instantly forgettable film.

Given that his past credits include the popular teen television serial Dawsons Creek, it is perhaps no surprise that screenwriter Rob Thomas paints an irredeemably bland portrait of contemporary American youth culture. His characterisation of Chase's loose group of geek buddies and the clean-cut preppies to whom Nicole pledges allegiance is dismally formulaic. Tensions between these two camps proceed along the most conventional of narrative routes: boy meets girl, with some soapy to-and-froing merely delaying the saccharine conclusion.

Whereas the more watchable of the recent US high-school comedies play self-consciously to their pop culture-literate audiences, Drive Me Crazy feels like a throwback to a far less sophisticated breed of teen picture. (The title of the novel on which this film is based - How I Created My Perfect Prom Date - neatly evokes the juvenile tone of Drive Me Crazy.) Eschewing the smart intertextuality of such films as Clueless, Drive Me Crazy introduces into its vapid milieu various moments of apparent sociological topicality. At one point Chase's unpopular friend hijacks the school's television station to broadcast a short film satirising the herd instincts and pep-rally culture of his classmates. But while this scene might signal a sympathy on behalf of Schultz for the adolescent outsiders of teen society, Drive Me Crazy ends with a celebration of that bastion of high-school conformity, the prom. As if to underline its socially cohesive function, the prom even boasts the meek attendance of all the school's nerds. Another perfunctory touch - the single-parent status of Chase's father and Nicole's mother - does however provide the film its most memorable moment: Nicole's reconciliation with her often-absent father. Such reunions are, of course, staples of American youth movies; this one, however, must be the first to be staged in a hot-air balloon.


John Schultz
Amy Robinson
Rob Thomas
Based on the novel How I Created My Perfect Prom Date by Todd Strasser
Director of Photography
Kees van Oostrum
John Pace
Production Designer
Aaron Osborne
Greg Kendall
©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Production Company
Twentieth Century Fox presents an Amy Robinson production
Nancy Paloian-Breznikar
Production Supervisor
Linda Warrilow
Production Co-ordinators
Audra Cervantes
Gregory Earls
Unit Production Manager
Leigh Shanta
Location Manager
David B. Smith
Assistant Directors
Paul N. Martin
Jim Goldthwait
Miriam Epstein
Script Supervisor
Suzanne Bingham
Sheila Jaffe
Georgianne Walken
Julia Kim
Take One!
Cate Praggastis
Loop De Loop
Camera Operators
Michael Lund
Pat Reddish
Steadicam Operator
Geoff Haley
Music Video Supervisor
Norwood Cheek
Special Effects Co-ordinator
Rick H. Josephsen
Graphic Designers
Adam Tankell
Jackson Douglas
Art Director
Erin Cochran
Set Designers
Carl Stensel
John R. Uibel
Set Decorator
Melissa Levander
Costume Designer
Genevieve Tyrrell
Costume Supervisor
Heidi Higginbotham
Department Head Make-up Artist
Kris Evans
Key Make-up
Greg T. Moon
Key Hair
Julie Woods
Main Titles/Opticals
Pacific Title/Mirage
End Titles
Scarlet Letters
Music Programmer/Drummer
Jeff Allison
Featured Musicians
Jake Guralnick
David Schlichting
Mike Leahy
Bob Kendall
Ed Silvia
Meredith Byam
Music Supervisors
Tom Wolfe
Manish Raval
Music Editor
Glenn Auchinachie
Music Recordist
Matthew Ellard
Score Mixer
Malcolm Luker
Music Consultant
Greg 'Skeggy' Kendall
"Turbo-Teen" - Sugar High; "Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding" - Less Than Jake; "Cheapskate" - Supergrass; "Bedrock" - B(if)tek; "Real Good Time" - Alda; "Endless Summer Days" - Diesel Boy; "Shabby Girl" - The Electric Farm; "Picture of You" - Charlotte Grace; "Is This Really Happening to Me", "The 'In' Crowd" - Phantom Planet: "Shake It Don't Break It" - Malveaux featuring Tai; "Bitter Words" - Area 7; "Keep on Loving You" - REO Speedwagon; "Get Rid of That Girl", "Outta My Mind", "Keep on Loving You" - The Donnas; "Koolest Band" - Montana; "Next to You" - Natasha Pearce; "Run Baby Run" - Deadstar; "Look at You Now" - Far Too Jones; "It's All Been Done" - Barenaked Ladies; "(You Drive Me) Crazy" (The Stop Remix!) - Britney Spears; "Regret" - Mukala; "Sugar" (contains elements of "I Want You Back") - Don Philip ; "I Want It ThatWay" (The Jack D. Elliot remix) - Backstreet Boys; "Stranded" - Plumb; "Let's Live It Up" - Brian Setzer Orchestra; "One for Sorrow (The Tony Moran remix) - Steps; "Duo" (from the film "The Trouble with Harry") - Joel McNeely and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra; "Wig Wam Bam" - Sweet; "Your Big Day"
Sound Mixer
Jonathan Earl Stein
Re-recording Mixers
Ken Teaney
Marshall Garlington
Supervising Sound Editor
Andrew DeCristofaro
Dialogue Editors
Paul Curtis
John C. Stuver
Supervising Sound Effects Editor
Ann Scibelli
Sound Effects Editors
Jeffrey Whitcher
Chris Smith
Michael Kamper
Jeff K. Brunello
Rebecca Hanck
ADR Editors
Paul Curtis
John C. Stuver
Sean Rowe
Greg Barbanell
Joan Rowe
Chris Staszak
Eric Thompson
Shawn Kennelly
John Chandler
Daniel Scolnik
Stunt Co-ordinator
Bill McIntosh
Melissa Joan Hart
Nicole Maris
Adrian Grenier
Chase Hammond
Stephen Collins
Mr Maris
Susan May Pratt
Mark Webber
Kris Park
Ray Neeley
Gabriel Carpenter
Ali Larter
Lourdes Benedicto
Chloe Frost
Keri Lynn Pratt
Dee Vine
Natasha Pearce
Jordan Bridges
Eddie Lampell
Keram Malicki-Sanchez
Mark Metcalf
Mr Rope
William Converse-Roberts
Mr Hammond
Faye Grant
Mrs Maris
Derrick Shore
Andrew Roach
Big Fred
Joey Lopez
student TV director
Jessica Frandsen
Kristy Wu
Jacque Gray
Ivey Lloyd
pretty girl
Terry Cain
diner waitress
Lauren Renée Boyer
Elizabeth Hart
Doug MacMillan
Mr Webb
Mary A. Daniels
faculty sponsor
Holly Swain
Nordic blonde
Maya Ford
Electrocutes bass
Torrance Castellano
Electrocutes drums
Allison Robertson
Electrocutes guitar
Brett Anderson
Electrocutes vox
Marc Valasquez
Pit Band lead singer
Brendon Te
Pit Band guitar
Tone Te
Pit Band drums
Darby Bailey
Pit Band bass
20th Century Fox (UK)
8,191 feet
91 minutes 1 second
Colour/Prints by
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011