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SUGAR AND SPICE

About The Production

Sugar & Spice is a rousing comedy that also has another ingredient: bite. In the tradition of Heathers and Clueless, Sugar & Spice takes a smart, sharp, spirited look at just how hilariously high-pressure, mordantly materialistic and comically cutthroat life in the ultimate American high school can be. But this time a group of fast-thinking cheerleaders use a different sort of weapon -- excess teen spirit — and take kindness to criminal extremes in an outrageous attempt to survive into successful adulthood.

Lincoln High is your typical all-American high school, filled with promising young men and women. But life at Lincoln is not all child's play — sometimes, it's all-out war. At least that's the view provided by police informant Lisa (MARLA SOKOLOFF), who has a unique story to tell. As head of Lincoln's B-Squad cheerleaders, Lisa has lived for four years in the shadow of the school's ultra-popular, super-cute and seemingly perfect A- Squad girls. But now Lisa has discovered the wickedly funny underside of the great American High School Dream — the unorthodox life of crime they're pursuing in order to ensure the future of their captain's latest extra-credit project.

But what looks like a story of good-girls-turned-bad turns into something surprisingly different as Sugar & Spice unfolds. After all, these bank robber babes aren't your run of-the-mill burglars. They're five young women who, in the words of Diane, approach their heist as "a great big craft project," and in the process invent their own Robin Hood style of crime, robbing a supermarket bank with perky politeness and a cheerleader's smiling sense of duty.

In a world that hasn't turned out quite as perfect as they expected, the A-Squad girls resolve to take their own stand, right their own wrongs and win over the home crowd all at the same time.

The sharply satirical tale of the Lincoln High School A-Squad immediately drew the interest of up-and-coming Australian director Francine McDougall. She saw it as a teen-age comedy that dares to go where few teen comedies have gone — into the underside of the usual teen-movie notion that everything is peachy keen for the likes of cheerleaders, football players and future Harvard graduates. McDougall adored the hyper-fast, furiously funny screenplay which goes to town poking fun at its characters, then ultimately reveals that their hearts are in the right place.

"I saw Sugar & Spice's story as a good-humored stab at the idealism of the American Dream," says McDougall. "I loved the idea of a group of seemingly perfectly happy girls who decide to face down their one big problem — a pregnant friend — and come up with an outrageous solution, namely robbing a bank. I just loved the humor of it all, and yet it's done in such a light-hearted fashion."

Producer Wendy Finerman — who won an Oscar for another risk-taking comedy, Forrest Gump — had a similar reaction. "What I loved about the story is that it's really about how girls stand up for one another," she says. "It's a very funny look at how far these cheerleaders will go for each other, not with malice but with true sweetness. It's really just pure fun and entertainment."

Finerman welcomed the addition of Francine McDougall as director. "Her reel revealed that she has a wonderful way with female characters and an especially smart view of teens at that age," notes Finerrnan.

From the start, McDougall knew she wanted to highlight the satirical elements of the script with a highly stylized treatment, one heightened by her outsider's view of America's conflicting sides: apple-pie and Alcatraz. "My approach was to create a sense of these kids being surrounded by a perfect<

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