Sydney White

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Sydney White
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joe Nussbaum
Produced by James G. Robinson
David C. Robinson
Clifford Werber
Written by Chad Creasey
Starring Amanda Bynes
Sara Paxton
Matt Long
John Schneider
Crystal Hunt
Music by Deborah Lurie
Cinematography Mark Irwin
Edited by Danny Saphire
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release dates
  • September 21, 2007 (2007-09-21)
Running time
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $13,620,075[1]

Sydney White also known as Sydney White and the Seven Dorks is a 2007 teen comedy film starring Amanda Bynes, Sara Paxton, and Matt Long, and based on the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


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 attend college at SAU and 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 popular fraternity, who is also the on-off boyfriend of the tyrannical president of the student council and the head of the Kappa Sorority, Rachel Witchburn (Sara Paxton). Rachel checks out her university's website that ranks the "hottest" in the school several times a day, and is always number one on the list. Tyler meets Sydney and is immediately smitten.

Since Sydney and Dinky's mothers were Kappas, they survived the rush and were 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 on the university website. 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 who live in a run-down house 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 the Vortex. 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 Embelakbo Akapaktumbe– also known as "Embele"– (Donté Bonner), a Nigerian interchange student who is highly intelligent but has sleep disorder due to being unadapted to a different time zone. The Vortex is coincidentally the target of Rachel's plan to open a luxury center that will benefit only the top Greek sororities and fraternities. She plans to subject it to a planned demolition, which is something Tyler is opposed to after he gets to know Sydney and her housemates better.

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 at a party. Sydney replaces him as a presidential candidate and starts her campaign. Unlike Rachel's views that promote elitism and exclusivism based solely on popularity and appearances, Sydney and the dorks believe in accepting diversity and equality. This earns Sydney respect from different cliques, and she gets the number 1 rank on the school's "hottest" website, which infuriates Rachel. The day before the debate and election, Rachel hires a hacker to destroy Sydney's files using a virus called 'The Poison Apple.' Sydney 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 arrive, led by a goth girl (Kierstin Koppel) whose group is devoted to Gurkin's blog. 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 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 to them.

The film ends with Sydney's father and other construction workers fixing the Vortex. 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, and 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".


Critical reception[edit]

"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).[2] 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."[3]

A top critic on Rotten Tomatoes stated: "...should satisfy Bynes fans looking for a pleasant, innocuous follow-up to her last vehicle."

On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 44 out of 100, based on 19 reviews.[4]

"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]

Production notes[edit]

Filming took place in and around Orlando from February 14, 2007 to April 4, 2007. Filming locations included the University of Central Florida, Rollins College, and University High School (Orlando).

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #6 at the U.S. Box office raking in $5,196,380 USD in its first opening weekend.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]