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hopscotchee: katie cassidy score: 66.5 rating: pg time: 109 minutes

first question: who were you?? if you were a 2000s kid, you definitely have an answer to this. for us, katie is SO, shocker, emma (katie cassidy), and annie is SO meg (leighton meester). it makes sense, doesn't it?? we're sisters both ways!! please tell us your answer in the coms, but, right now, we are going to jump into this review like meg and riley do into the beautiful, blue ocean in monte carlo!! let's go!!

straightaway we must clarify any assumption that this film is just another stale, meaningless chic-flick/girl's film. monte carlo is so much more than that. serving a plotline with identity theft, this disney star headlining movie exceeds most exceptions. and one of the reasons for this is its cast. monte carlo simply just wouldn't be the same without selena gomez, leighton meester, and katie cassidy. the chemistry that these girls are able to conjure to the screen hits home to any friend group out there. equally highlighting three distinctly different personalities, the movie easily allows its audience to fit right in and the plot to move along very dynamically and smoothly.

but now we need to talk about la vie en rose. yep, we need to talk about the firework moment. absolutely unforgettable, the music placement and parallel editing style makes this point timeless. in other words, it is by no accident that, when eight-year-old annie and katie watched this for the first time in 2011, we still remember it 'til this day. being able to look at this special scene through our knowledgeable filmmaking eyes, we can note that the magic at work was from the editors. throughout monte carlo you get the feel of a stereotypical european travel short. the quirky montages, zoom ins and outs, and theatrical score all come into play with this ambience, and they all perfectly fit into place, leading up to the la vie en rose moment. as a result, we are almost waiting for that firework-postcard-perfect moment. but we get more than that. adding the cherry on top, we reach the point the the film where (spoiler) are three protagonists are finally settling into who they are. the fireworks only symbolize that ideal european trip moment, but, on a bigger scale, the fireworks connect the three of them despite them not all being together, which honestly sweetens the scene even more. finally, the choice of louis armstrong's rendition of la vie en rose is a plainly flawless music placement. needless to say, this scene is a firework-highlight of the film and truly iconic!!

yet a point commonly overlooked in this movie is its locations. you would think for a movie about travel, this wouldn't be a isswa (issue), but we happen to think that you probably didn't consider the work that the scout locator did. this work shouldn't be overlooked. especially in this film!! the scout locators were responsible for finding all the pretty places that we get to sit back and take in through grace, meg, and emma's adventure. not only does this mean they scouted the glorious paris or monte carlo monuments (like the eiffel tower), but we can also thank them for finding the extravagant hotel that the girls get to stay in, leading to the magnificent wide shot that we get when (spoiler) they are trying to hop from balcony to balcony to not get caught from cordelia. speaking about shots, we also share our *snaps* to the director of photography, who made this film far from a sloppy, aloha-like, disregarded piece.

at the end of the day, monte carlo is more than just a one-hit-wonder from 2011. whether feel goods aren't your thing, if you are emo or something, this movie is contagiously uplifting and happy-go-lucky. (and maybe a bit nostalgic, which never fails either.) serving as a timeless throwback in any situation, you'll never find us passing up a time to throw on this flick. likewise, you'll never find us just watching monte carlo without wondering who we would recast the boys as (bradley simpson as theo, cam graves as riley, & ?pete davidson? as owen), mentioning how the polo scene totally resembles britney spears' music video radar, or calling out how V20 (very early 2000s) it is be like "IMMA IN MY PRETTY BALLGOWN, BUT IMMA TOM-BOY AND IMMA WEAR MY CASUAL SHOES"!! we just would never do that, and we don't think you would either!!

-- thanks, kaite xo

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