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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joe Nussbaum|
|Produced by||James G. Robinson
David C. Robinson
|Written by||Chad Creasey|
|Music by||Deborah Lurie|
|Editing by||Danny Saphire|
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Release dates||September 21, 2007|
|Running time||107 minutes|
Sydney White (Amanda Bynes) is the daughter of a plumber, Paul White (John Schneider). Her mother, a Kappa Sorority member, died when Sydney was still young. She sets off to study in a SAU and to pledge to her mother's once dignified sorority. There she meets Demetria Rosemead Hotchkiss (Crystal Hunt), known as Dinky, also an upcoming member of the Kappa Sorority, and the two quickly become friends. While on their way to their dorm, she meets Tyler Prince (Matt Long), the president of a fraternity, and the on-off boyfriend of the tyrannical president of the student council and the head of the Kappa Sorority, Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton). Rachel often checks out her university's website that ranks the "hottest" in the school, and she always finds herself to be number one.
Since Sydney and Dinky's mothers were members of the sorority, they survived the rush and got accepted as legacies. However, they need to survive the pledging. Sydney's tomboyish upbringing proves to be an asset as she stands out among the other girls and manages to overcome the difficult initiation tasks. She also unintentionally inspires the other girls to innocently defy shallow things that Rachel teaches them. This unique personality gradually propels Sydney's popularity as seen in the university website, and attracts Tyler's attention. Rachel gets increasingly jealous of her because of this. As one of the Kappa Sorority's traditional rituals, the freshmen need to find a date late at midnight. Sydney finds Lenny (Jack Carpenter), one of the seven dorks, known as the Vortex. Sydney is then picked by Rachel to ditch her date, which ended in Lenny paying.
Sydney fails to become a member of Kappa when Rachel humiliates her in the pledge gala and insists she has disobeyed the rules: lying about her background and cheating on a Kappa quiz. Sydney leaves that night in the rain, unintentionally sitting in front of Vortex's home. She is welcomed by the seven dorks: Lenny, the one with high maintenance health; Terrence (Jeremy Howard), the genius one; Jeremy (Adam Hendershott), the shy one who only uses his puppet to talk; Gurkin (Danny Strong), the hot-tempered blogger, Spanky (Samm Levine), the one who has no experience with girls; George (Arnie Pantoja), the childlike one who still believes in Santa Claus and doesn't know how to tie a knot; and Embele (Donté Bonner), a Nigerian interchange student who is highly intelligent but has sleep disorder due to being unadapted to different country hours. The Vortex's house is coincidentally the target of Rachel's project of raising a luxury center that will benefit only the top Greek sororities and fraternities, subjecting it to a planned demolition, which is something Tyler opposes to.
Sydney, together with the seven dorks, tries to bring Rachel down from her student council position by running Terrence for president. He is soon disqualified because he had already graduated six years prior, as revealed when Rachel humiliated the group. Sydney replaces him as a presidential candidate and starts her campaign. Unlike Rachel's views that promote elitism and exclusivism, Sydney and the dorks believe in accepting diversity and equality. This earns Sydney respect from different cliques, and she gets the number 1 rank in the school website, which infuriates Rachel. The day before the debate and election, Rachel hires someone to hack Sydney's files using a virus called 'The Poison Apple.' She is then forced to stay up all night in the library doing her work on Gurkin's laptop. When Sydney finishes her work, she accidentally falls asleep and is almost disqualified for not showing up. But Tyler wakes her with a kiss just in time. After Rachel answers the question posed by Professor Carleton (Brian Patrick Clarke), Sydney's supporters come led by the goth girl (Kierstin Koppel) whom Gurkin had met. Sydney's speech defends the underrated people, including dorks and concludes by stating that she herself is a dork. This incites a number of students to also admit that dork status including Tyler, Jeremy, Spanky and Dinky. Sydney wins the debate and the election becoming the new president, while Rachel is stripped of her Kappa sisterhood by her sisters because of her cruelty even to them.
The film ends with Sydney's father and other construction workers fixing Vortex's home. New relationships have formed as well. Dinky and Lenny are now a couple (who bonded because of their sensitive digestive system). Spanky is finally getting some girls. The goth girl and Gurkin are dating. Sydney and Tyler are together. George has learned how to tie a knot. Jeremy is finally coming out of his shell. And Terrence has become a millionaire because of his theory. And, according to Sydney's narration, they all lived "dorkily ever after".
- Amanda Bynes as Sydney White
- Sara Paxton as Rachel Witchburn
- Matt Long as Tyler Prince
- Jack Carpenter as Lenny (Sneezy)
- Jeremy Howard as Terrence (Doc)
- Adam Hendershott as Jeremy (Bashful)
- Danny Strong as Gurkin (Grumpy)
- Samm Levine as Spanky (Happy)
- Arnie Pantoja as George (Dopey)
- Donté Bonner as Embele (Sleepy)
- John Schneider as Paul White
- Crystal Hunt as Demetria Rosemead "Dinky" Hotchkiss
- Brian Patrick Clarke as Professor Carleton
- Libby Mintz as Christy
- Cree Ivey as young Sydney White
- Lisandra Vazquez as Amy
- Kierstin Koppel as goth girl
"Sydney White" has received mixed reviews. As of September 21, 2007 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 37% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 75 reviews (a movie is considered "rotten" when it receives less than 60% positive reviews). Film critic Laura Kern of the New York Times said: "Ms. Bynes, with her cherubic face, expressive eyes and comic timing, helps create a positive, pleasing diversion that caters to the geek in all of us."
A top critic on Rotten Tomatoes stated: "...should satisfy Bynes fans looking for a pleasant, innocuous follow-up to her last vehicle."
"Sydney White's message of embracing all kinds of people and not quaking in fear of the elite and popular is a sound one, but each twist and turn is so telegraphed and expected that the story feels wan and the comedy feeble." —Claudia Puig, USA Today[this quote needs a citation]
The film opened at #6 at the U.S. Box office raking in $5,196,380 USD in its first opening weekend.
- Sydney White at the Internet Movie Database
- Sydney White at AllMovie
- Sydney White at Rotten Tomatoes
- Sydney White at Metacritic
- Sydney White at Box Office Mojo
- Sydney White at AllMovie