Cruel Intentions

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Cruel Intentions is a 1999 American drama film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair. The movie is a comedic and dramatic appropriation of the 18th-century French epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Laclos, but unlike other modern film versions of the novel set in the France of that time (such as Dangerous Liaisons and Valmont) Cruel Intentions is set among the wealthy teenagers living in modern New York City. The plot is mainly driven by a bet held between the two main characters, and it heavily involves manipulation, seduction, and love in a rich and sophisticated socially elite youth atmosphere. The film started as an independent film with a much smaller budget, and was later picked up by Columbia Pictures. The film was released on March 5, 1999. It was later followed by two direct-to-video films: a prequel, Cruel Intentions 2, and a sequel, Cruel Intentions 3.

Contents

Plot

Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the image of social perfection, takes the sheltered and naïve Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair) under her wing, promising to turn Cecile into a model student like herself. Kathryn's real intention, however, is to take revenge on Court Reynolds, her ex-lover, who dumped her for Cecile. She intends to corrupt Cecile by getting her to sleep with as many men as possible, thereby destroying her reputation and teaching Court a lesson. She asks for the help of her womanizing step-brother, Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe). Though Kathryn and Sebastian have collaborated in schemes of manipulation before, he initially refuses. He is busy planning another "conquest", the beautiful Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon), a girl who has published a manifesto saying that she plans to keep her virginity intact until she falls in love.

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