BOOkS

AMAZING BUT TRUE

BRIAN BETHUNE February 9 2004
BOOkS

AMAZING BUT TRUE

BRIAN BETHUNE February 9 2004

The lightening up of a former It Girl

CLOSING NOTES

People

Erika Christensen, It Girl 2000 for her harrowing turn as a crack-addicted teen in the Oscar-winning Traffic, and Scarlett Johansson, It Girl 2003 for her Golden Globenominated portrayal of a confused twentysomething wife in Lost in Translation, won’t be garnering the same kind of recognition for their next movie, The Perfect Score. But the two actresses do bring some class to this sweet teen flick about high-school students trying to steal the answers to the SATs.

Christensen plays a good girl under pressure from her parents, and Johansson is a rebel looking for a little fun. They join up with four guys (played by Chris Evans, Bryan Greenberg, Leonardo Nam and NBA star Darius Miles) who also have reasons for breaking into the office building where the dreaded scholastic aptitude test is kept. Off the set, this group of young actors bonded

over more innocent activities. “We started by meeting for dinner a lot, talking about taboo subjects, like religion and politics,” says Christensen, 21. “It was summer in Vancouver and it was beautiful, so we went hiking and whitewater rafting. And we were all staying at the same hotel, so we’d meet in the pool and play Marco Polo.”

It’s only recently that the Seattle-born, L.A.-raised Christensen has allowed herself to take roles like this, where fun is the main focus. “I was spoiled with Traffic,” she says. “Not only was it an amazing director, script, cast and role—you can find all those again— but it was also an amazing topic. If you’re looking for that in every single movie that you make, you’ll never find it. I realized there’s nothing wrong with comedies—they leave the audience feeling better than when they came in.” SHAN DA DEZIEL