Once upon a time, there was a film called Sydney White and the Seven Dorks, which was a snappy little title that told folks immediately pretty much what the film was about: a modern-day retelling of the Snow White story (kinda like that Hilary Duff Cinderella film a couple years ago) with a dork element. You can practically hear the pitch meeting, can't you? "See, it's a modern Snow White, plus kind of a Revenge of the Nerds remake ... with a cute girl in the lead ... and it will take advantage of the currently popular 'dork' factor, too!" Sure, you can see why the idea got the greenlight, can't you? It has potential, if you have solid writing and just the right twist -- think more Clueless, and less -- way less -- of Duff's A Cinderella Story. Aim for smart instead of sappy, subtle and maybe a wee bit subversive. Unfortunately, that's not the movie director Joe Nussbaum made, so instead what we end up with is a mildly appealing teen comedy that could have been a lot better.

The film we end up with is Sydney White -- for some reason the studio decided to take off the "and the Seven Dorks" bit, a mistake, in my opinion, because the film's title is now so generic that a lot of people at the screening I attended were wondering before it started just what this movie was supposed to be about. By the end of the film, if you haven't figured out that the film is supposed to be a remake of a fairy tale, the film has walloped you about the head and shoulders with that point so frequently you'd have to be willfully not paying attention to miss it.