Sydney White ** 1/2 (out of ****)

Director: Joe Nussbaum
Writer: Chad Gomez Creasey
Cast: Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton, Matt Long
Rating: PG-13 (the B-word?)
Running Time: 105 min
Release Date: 9/28/2007

During opening scenes of Sydney White I briefly thought that I might be the wrong theater. It opens at a construction site and the lead character Sydney White (Amanda Bynes) is one of the workers. This scene only serves the purpose of showing a brief look at her coworkers and the environment in which she grew up. She receives an Apple laptop computer as her fair well gift before going to college.

It seems that Sydney’s mother had died nine years earlier and she had been raised by her father who is a plumber. Sydney’s mother had been a member of Kappa Phi Nu sorority in which she had very fond memories and had wanted her daughter to follow in her footsteps. As a sidelight, Kappa Phi Nu is the most upscale sorority on campus and one wonders just how Kappa sister ended up married to a plumber!

Sydney is arrives on campus and gets shown around by none other than Tyler Prince (Matt Long), the president of Beta something or other the corresponding top of the line fraternity on campus. This gets her off on the wrong foot with Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton), who is Kappa’s president and is a former girlfriend of Tyler’s. Also, Sydney just doesn’t fit in to the “hot blonde” style of Kappa. Since she’s a legacy, she will get her chance or at least the appearance of it. But, after some typical sorority pledging activities, Sydney is humiliated in front of everyone when she is rejected for membership. Rachel reads off a list of rule violations for all hear at an event in which the pledges were to be introduced as members.

Cast out in the rain, Sydney takes refuge in a run down dwelling called the Vortex. This seems to be a place reserved for ultra-dorks. The residents are way beyond the nerds of Revenge of the Nerds. One will only communicate through his hand puppet for example. This is a really pathetic group and naturally Sydney is going to whip them into shape in order run a slate of candidates for student council. Her goal is nothing less than taking the reigns of campus power from the Greeks. They only need a motivation and that is given when the Vortex gang learns that the Greeks plan to condemn their lovely abode in order to build their new Greek Center.

I won’t spoil the show by telling you more because you can probably guess. Dorks rule and Greeks drool is the theme! Overall this was simple but rather fun movie to watch. I’m not sure why it got a PG-13 rating but it is a very soft “13” and has little of the contrived vulgarity that often characterizes this rating. Amanda Bynes is delightfully innocent in the role of Sydney White.

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