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Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Stockwell
Produced byRachel Pfeffer
Harry J. Ufland
Mary Jane Ufland
Written byPhil Hay
Matt Manfredi
StarringKirsten Dunst
Jay Hernandez
Bruce Davison
Music byPaul Haslinger
CinematographyShane Hurlbut
Edited byMelissa Kent
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • June 30, 2001 (2001-06-30)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$13 million[2]
Box office$19.9 million[2]

Crazy/Beautiful (stylized as crazy/beautiful) is a 2001 American teen romantic drama film starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez. It is largely set at Palisades Charter High School and the surrounding area, including Downtown Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, Malibu (where Dunst's character lives), and East Los Angeles (where Hernandez's character lives).


Nicole Oakley, the out-of-control daughter of congressman Tom Oakley, meets a working class Mexican-American straight-A student, Carlos Nuñez. Nicole is troubled because her mother committed suicide when she was very young, feeling unwanted by her father, who has another young daughter with his new wife. Carlos, on the other hand, is from a poor background and is working hard towards becoming a Navy pilot.

They fall in love, and Carlos spends so much time with her that he stops performing well in school. Carlos is applying to the U.S. Naval Academy and Nicole's father suggests Carlos talk to him about gaining his Congressional sponsorship to the Academy. During their meeting, Nicole's father tells Carlos that he needs to end his relationship with Nicole, or she will destroy his life. Carlos breaks up with her, which leads Nicole into depression and back into wild, drunken partying. One night, Carlos calls her and finds out she is getting drunk at a high school party. He saves Nicole from a boy trying to take advantage of her. Carlos drives her home, but they get stopped by the police.

As a result of this incident, Nicole's father and step-mother decide that she needs to go to a boarding school far away from home; Carlos rescues her and they run away together. While they are away, Nicole realizes she is getting in the way of Carlos's dreams, so she decides it is time to stop running away from her problems, feeling she wants to be better for Carlos and have a future with him. They go back home and she makes up with her father. Her father thanks Carlos for not listening to his advice to abandon Nicole. In the end credits, we see that Carlos has become a pilot with the United States Navy.



Crazy/Beautiful was directed by John Stockwell, who was interested in casting actress Kirsten Dunst as a self-destructive teenager after seeing her role in The Virgin Suicides.[3] Dunst, who was 18 at the time, accepted the role because she was tired of playing "sweet" girls in previous films.[3] The actress also helped Stockwell convince Disney executives not to tone down the film's language and adult themes.[3] Although a nude scene was in the script, it was never filmed because Dunst was 17 years old when she got cast and her mother flatly refused to let her do this scene.[4] Crazy/Beautiful was planned as an R-rated film, but Disney ultimately wanted a more commercial PG-13 rating and ordered Stockwell to cut 35 obscenities, including a sex scene and a character's drug use.[5] The film was originally titled "At Seventeen".[6]


Crazy/Beautiful opened at #9 at the U.S. Box office taking in $4,715,060 USD during its opening weekend. The film eventually grossed a worldwide total of $19,937,988 on a $13 million budget.[2] Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a score of 63% from 99 reviews. The critical consensus read, "The story is not new, but the film gets credit for trying to move away from the genre's cliches. Kirsten Dunst and newcomer Jay Hernandez give believable performances".[7] Metacritic gave the film a score 61 based on 26 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

The New York Times critic A. O. Scott praised the lead actors and the film's lively soundtrack, but criticized the other characters for being flat and superficial. He concluded that Crazy/Beautiful is "an enormous improvement over the brainless, patronizing teenage romances" of the time, but also admitted that it could have been much better if the filmmakers "had trusted themselves and the actors a bit more".[9]


The soundtrack album was released by Hollywood Records on June 6, 2001; Seven Mary Three's "Wait" served as the album's English lead single; La Ley's "Siempre (Every Time)" was its Spanish lead single. "Wait" charted considerably well and its music video, directed by the film's director Stockwell, featured Dunst and Hernandez.[10] editorialist Rickey Wright gave a mixed review of the soundtrack, citing groups like The Dandy Warhols, Mellow Man Ace, and Delinquent Habits as "evocative" while also stating that it "hardly makes a good argument for the continuing validity of guitar rock."[11]

  1. "Ten Le Fe" - Mellow Man Ace
  2. "Who am I?" - Lily Frost
  3. "To Be Free" - Emiliana Torrini
  4. "Wait" - Seven Mary Three
  5. "Every Time" - La Ley
  6. "La Reina Del Lugar" - Serralde
  7. "Shattered" - Remy Zero
  8. "Boulevard Star" - Delinquent Habits (featuring Michelle)
  9. "This is Not My Life" - Fastball
  10. "Sumpin'" - The Pimps
  11. "Alright" - Osker
  12. "Sleep" - The Dandy Warhols
  13. "She Gave Me Love" - The Getaway People
  14. "I Want to Believe You" - Lori Carson & Paul Haslinger
  15. "Perfect" - Maren Ord
  16. "Siempre" - La Ley
  17. "This Year's Love" - David Gray


  1. ^ "Crazy/Beautiful". British Board of Film Classification. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "crazy/beautiful". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Germain, David (July 5, 2001). "Dunst drops her perky image for gritty 'crazy/beautiful'". The Daily Gazette. p. B8. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "'crazy/beautiful': Kirsten Dunst Interview". June 27, 2001. Archived from the original on December 9, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Friend, Tad (December 8, 2002). "They love you!". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  6. ^ Vice, Jeff (August 9, 2001). "Film review: crazy/beautiful". Mojave Desert News. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "Crazy/Beautiful (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  8. ^ "Crazy/Beautiful". Metacritic.
  9. ^ Scott, A. O. (June 29, 2001). "He's Poor, She's Rich. Made for Each Other!". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Hollywood Records to Release Bilingual/Bi-Cultural "Crazy/Beautiful" Soundtrack Hispanic Times Magazine (September 22, 2001). Retrieved on September 13, 2008.
  11. ^ Wright, Rickey Crazy/Beautiful: Original Soundtrack Retrieved on September 13, 2008.

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