UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nick Moore|
|Written by||Lucy Dahl|
|Music by||Michael Price|
|Edited by||Simon Cozens|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$21.9 million|
Wild Child is a 2008 teen comedy film directed by Nick Moore and starring Emma Roberts, Alex Pettyfer, Georgia King, Kimberley Nixon, Juno Temple, Linzey Cocker, Sophie Wu, Aidan Quinn and Natasha Richardson.
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Poppy Moore, an affluent Malibu teenager, executes a wild prank to ruin all of her father's girlfriend's belongings in front of her friends, telling everyone to throw away whatever they want and take it for themselves. When her father Gerry arrives on the scene, he announces that he is sending her to a boarding school in England. Arriving at the school, Abbey Mount, Poppy meets the headmistress Mrs. Kingsley, who she initially finds annoying; head girl Harriet Bentley, a tall, bossy girl who has two so-called "friends" named Jane and Charlotte that she treats like slaves, who follow her around, beg for her and agree with whatever she says; her "big sister", Kate, and roommates Josie, Kiki and Jennifer "Drippy". Poppy's entire suitcase is left out in the rain, soaking everything. She meets the Matron and orders her to wash, dry and iron all her clothes. This lands the girls with three Sunday's detention, leaving her with no friends and her dormmates expressing their hate to her. She is miserable in her new life, feeling that she does not fit in as an outsider.
After a small fight with Harriet in gym class, Poppy is called to the Headmistress' Office, where she is given a punishment: read a book. Sitting on a bench outside sulking, Harriet spots her and orders her "maid", an intimidated Year 7 student, to drench Poppy with dirty coffee-filled water, but this ultimately results in Poppy and Kate starting to form a friendship. Revealing that the girls' mobile phones, confiscated earlier on, were always intended to be decoys, Kate lets Poppy use her actual phone to call her friend Ruby in the US. However, when Ruby sees Poppy's message, she is disgusted and it is revealed that Poppy's boyfriend, Roddy, has been cheating on Poppy with her.
After Poppy reveals that her mother died several years ago in a car accident, her roommates decide to help her get expelled so that she can return home. Together they carry out several pranks, which gradually bring them closer together. When none of their plans work, they decide to seduce the headmistress's son, Freddie, who is strictly forbidden from fraternizing with any of the girls. She dances with Freddy at the school dance, much to Harriet's dismay, but Poppy trips and hits her head. This prompts Freddie to take the concussed girl outside for air, where he asks her out on a date.
The next day, Poppy discovers her talent for lacrosse and whips the school's team into shape, getting them into the finals. On the date, Poppy finds herself falling for Freddie. They kiss before returning to school. Entering her room, Poppy finds her roommates reading an email supposedly sent by herself, expressing that she thinks all of her new friends are losers. She then finds that Freddie has been sent a similar email and is thereafter ignored by all of her friends. With no one else to turn to, Poppy sneaks down to the cook's room and calls Ruby, who accidentally reveals how much she dislikes Poppy and the fact that she is seeing Poppy's boyfriend. Feeling even more alone, Poppy starts playing with her lighter and accidentally sets a curtain on fire. Hearing footsteps, she quickly puts out the fire and runs off. A few minutes later, she looks out her window to see a fire and immediately wakes the school.
When they find that Drippy is missing, Poppy runs into the burning school to rescue her. After the fire is put out, Freddie finds her lighter and gives it back to her, refusing to listen to what happened. Just as she realizes that she no longer wants to leave, Poppy goes to the headmistress and confesses. Afterwards, she finds a portrait of her mother in the 1976 Abbey Mount lacrosse team and begins to cry upon realizing that her mother also attended the school.
While Poppy waits for the Honour Court to decide if she should be expelled, Freddie finds her crying and becomes convinced that the fire was an accident and forgives her. During the hearing, Poppy tells her story. Meanwhile, her roommates find out that Poppy did not send the emails. Going to the Court, they stand up for Poppy, and Harriet accidentally confesses to restarting the fire after Poppy had put it out when she mentions Poppy's lighter, a fact not previously mentioned in the trial. Poppy is subsequently absolved. Poppy's father comes to the game of the lacrosse finals, and is amazed by Poppy's dramatic change in appearance and how much she looks like her mother, also captain of the lacrosse team at Abbey Mount. Abbey Mount wins the lacrosse finals and Harriet is expelled. Some months later, Poppy, her friends and Freddie are relaxing in Malibu. Poppy ignores Ruby's phone calls, now fully aware that she was not the friend she thought she was. The film ends as they prepare to jump off the cliff that helped her towards finding herself and making proper friends.
Wild Child was released in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2008, taking fifth place at the box office with $2,196,366 from 359 cinemas with an average of $6,118. In its fourth weekend, it dropped to twelfth place. As of November 2008, Wild Child had grossed $8,235,794. In Australia, Wild Child was released September 18 taking fourth place with only 93 cinemas, making $315,114. The following week, it made a 60% increase with $566,918 but still slipped to 6th place. On October 16, Wild Child fell to 11th. As of November 2008, Wild Child had grossed US$3,268,424 (A$4,236,579) in Australia. The film has been released in many other countries, proving popular in some: the Netherlands ($1,553,825) and not so popular in others. The film has grossed a worldwide total of $21,972,336.Universal had planned a North American release in the summer of 2009, but canceled it and chose to release the film directly to DVD.
Wild Child has a 41% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 27 reviews with an average rating of 4.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "More mild than wild. This tween comedy mess falls flat on its face due to poor characters, poor direction and poor jokes". The Sun Online gave the film 2/5 saying "WILD? More like mild, unless you think short skirts and "horse face" put-downs are outrageous." Urban Cinefile gave Wild Child a much more favourable review, stating "The film has an energy and honesty about it: it's lively, funny and smart and the characters are appealing."
Wild Child was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2008. In Australia, it was released on January 15, 2009. In the United States, it was released directly to DVD on November 17, 2009.
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||August 18, 2008|
Wild Child: The Movie Soundtrack Party Album is a soundtrack album by the film of the same name, released in the United Kingdom and Australia on August 18, 2008. In the United States, the soundtrack wasn't released.
|1.||"Shut Up and Drive"||Rihanna||3:10|
|2.||"Let Me Think About It"||Ida Corr and Fedde le Grand||3:15|
|3.||"About You Now"||Sugababes||3:21|
|4.||"Say It Right"||Nelly Furtado||2:19|
|5.||"I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me"||Annie||2:44|
|6.||"If This Is Love"||The Saturdays||3:14|
|7.||"Heartbreaker" (featuring Cheryl Cole)||will.i.am||4:05|
|8.||"Sweet About Me"||Gabriella Cilmi||3:38|
|9.||"Can't Speak French"||Girls Aloud||3:15|
|10.||"Murder on the Dancefloor"||Sophie Ellis-Bextor||4:06|
|11.||"Ice Cream"||New Young Pony Club||3:53|
|12.||"Kiss with a Fist"||Florence and the Machine||3:15|
|14.||"You Think I Don't Care"||Jack McManus||2:19|
|15.||"Come Around" (featuring Timbaland)||M.I.A.||2:44|
|17.||"Real Wild Child"||Sarah Harding||4:05|
|18.||"Wild Child"||The Cat Eat Cat Dog Game||3:38|
The following songs appeared in the movie and trailers, although they were not included on the soundtrack for the film, due to licensing restrictions: