2003 / 117m - USA
Mona Lisa Smile poster


July 19, 2023


Dangerous Minds meets Little Women? I'm sure Newell's intentions were good when he decided to make this film, but the result is overly sentimental kitsch. It's a typical Julia Roberts film, and that is not a compliment. She's pretty much the female version of Tom Hanks, a near-guarantee for boring, dull Hollywood dreck.

Katherine starts teaching at a prestigious school. The girls in her class are smart and come prepared, and Katherine feels intimidated after her first lesson. But she pushes through and decides to challenge the girls in less academic ways. Rather than repeat the opinions of others, she tries to get them to think for themselves.

Roberts is her annoying self, the young women are just as insufferable and the presentation is utterly kitsch. It helps that the film doesn't take itself too seriously, at least not during the first half, which makes it somewhat bearable. Hard to recommend this though, unless you like saccharine cinema with obvious morality.