Love Don't Cost a Thing (film)

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Love Don't Cost a Thing
Love Don't Cost a Thing Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTroy Beyer
Produced byAndrew Kosove
Broderick Johnson
Mark Burg
Reuben Cannon
Written byMichael Swerdlick
Troy Beyer
Music byJohn E. Rhone
Richard Gibbs
CinematographyChuck Cohen
Edited byDavid Codron
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
December 12, 2003 (2003-12-12)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$21 million[1]

Love Don't Cost a Thing (stylized as Love Don't Co$t a Thing) is a 2003 American teen comedy film written and directed by Troy Beyer and starring Nick Cannon and Christina Milian. It also stars Steve Harvey, Kenan Thompson and Kal Penn. The film is a remake of the 1987 film Can't Buy Me Love.


Alvin Johnson (Nick Cannon) is an extremely intelligent nerd under consideration for a General Motors scholarship, as he is skilled in designing engines. He has also taken up a job as a pool cleaner, to raise money to buy an expensive car part. He's always dreamed of hanging out with the popular kids, especially Paris Morgan (Christina Milian), a beautiful, popular cheerleader dating NBA star Dru Hilton. When Paris crashes her mother's expensive SUV during an argument with Dru, Alvin agrees to repair the car in return for two weeks of dating. Alvin uses money he had saved all summer for his project, jeopardizing his scholarship.

After a few missteps, Alvin begins to integrate himself with the popular crowd. He and Paris grow closer as she shares with him her secret love of music. As they draw close to the end of the two weeks, Alvin takes Paris out on their last day being "together". Paris hints that she would like to kiss Alvin, showing that she does in fact have feelings for him, but he misinterprets her feelings and instead stages a break-up planned for the next day at school. Paris began to fall in love with him after spending two weeks together, even though Alvin was unaware of it. Alvin continues to grow in popularity, alienating his former nerd friends and dating Paris's friends. In the meantime Paris starts to realize just how shallow and vapid most of her popular friends really are and she starts to question being a part of this group. At the end of the year on Senior Ditch Day, Dru returns, but leaves after he finds out Paris had been dating Alvin. In an attempt to get him back, Paris exposes her deal with Alvin to the whole school, returning him to mediocrity and being a geek.

Alvin's father Clarence (Steve Harvey) agrees to pay for the part, explaining to Alvin that he'd supported his sudden transformation because he wanted him to have some of the same experiences he did in high school. Alvin fixes a car he and his nerd friends had been working on the duration of the film. There is a school basketball game, and the nerds are threatened by the athletes to move to sit somewhere else. At the basketball game, Alvin stands up for his nerd friends against the basketball players. Alvin finally redeems himself in front of everyone. Alvin's nerd friends begin dating popular girls too. Alvin leaves the gymnasium, and as Paris follows him out, she is stopped by Dru, but Paris blows him off for Alvin and they kiss.



The school scenes were filmed at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California.


Love Don't Cost a Thing
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedDecember 9, 2003
GenreHip hop, R&B

A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on December 9, 2003 by Hollywood Records. It peaked at 22 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and 14 on the Top Soundtracks. Allmusic rated this soundtrack three stars out of five.[2]

  1. "Shorty (Put It on the Floor)"- 4:09 (Busta Rhymes, Chingy, Fat Joe and Nick Cannon)
  2. "Luv Me Baby"- 4:27 (Murphy Lee featuring Jazze Pha and Sleepy Brown)
  3. "Ignition (Remix)- 3:08 (R. Kelly)
  4. "Are You Ready"- 4:13 (Mr. Cheeks)
  5. "Got What It Takes"- 3:00 (Jeannie Ortega)
  6. "Pass the Courvoisier, Part II"- 4:11 (Busta Rhymes featuring P. Diddy and Pharrell Williams)
  7. "Exgirlfriend"- 4:02 (Nivea)
  8. "How Far Will You Go"- 3:45 (Ginuwine)
  9. "Comes to Light (Everything)"- 4:48 (Jill Scott)
  10. "Always"- 4:21 (Melissa Schuman)
  11. "Baby Girl"- 4:06 (Joe Budden)
  12. "I Wanna Kiss You"- 4:30 (Nicole Wray)
  13. "We Rise"- 4:04 (Rama Duke)
  14. "Hate 2 Luv U"- 3:29 (3LW)
  15. "She Is"- 3:33 (Hous'ton)
  16. "Spit da Flow"- 3:32 (Cash Take & B. Griffin)

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #4 at the U.S. Box office raking in $6,315,311 USD in its first opening weekend behind Stuck on You, The Last Samurai, and Something's Gotta Give.[1]

Critical response[edit]

The film has received mostly negative reviews, with a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and the consensus being, "A stale, unnecessary remake of Can't Buy Me Love."[3]

Roger Ebert, film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, gave the film a positive three-star rating after giving the original, Can't Buy Me Love, only half a star.[4] Ebert describes the remake as a wiser and less cynical than the original and suggests that it might have some insight into the insecurities of high school.[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

2004 BET Comedy Awards
  • Outstanding Directing for a Box Office Movie — Troy Beyer (nominated)
2004 Teen Choice Awards
  • Choice Breakout Movie Star, Female — Christina Milian (nominated)
  • Choice Movie, Date Movie (nominated)
  • Choice Movie Chemistry — Christina Milian, Nick Cannon (nominated)
  • Choice Movie Liar — Nick Cannon (nominated)
  • Choice Movie Liplock — Christina Milian, Nick Cannon (nominated)


  1. ^ a b "Love Don't Cost a Thing (2003) - Box Office Mojo".
  2. ^ "Love Don't Cost a Thing - Original Soundtrack". Allmusic.
  3. ^ "Love Don't Cost a Thing".
  4. ^ Roger Ebert (August 14, 1987). "Can't Buy Me Love". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Love Don't Cost a Thing Movie Review (2003) - Roger Ebert".

External links[edit]