Material Girls

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Material Girls
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMartha Coolidge
Produced byMilton Kim
Tim Wesley
Mark Morgan
Guy Oseary
Hilary Duff
Haylie Duff[1]
Susan Duff
Eva LaRue
David Faigenblum
Written byJohn Quaintance
Jessica O'Toole
Amy Rardin
StarringHilary Duff
Haylie Duff
Anjelica Huston
Lukas Haas
Maria Conchita Alonzo
Brent Spiner
Music byJennie Muskett
CinematographyJohnny E. Jensen
Edited bySteven Cohen
Maverick Films
Patriot Pictures
Milton Kim Productions
Distributed byMGM Distribution Co.
Release date
  • August 18, 2006 (2006-08-18)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million
Box office$16,907,725

Material Girls is a 2006 American teen comedy film starring Hilary and Haylie Duff, Anjelica Huston, Lukas Haas, Maria Conchita Alonzo, and Brent Spiner. It is based on a script written by John Quaintance and is directed by Martha Coolidge. It is loosely based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel Sense and Sensibility, updating the setting to modern Los Angeles. It is co-produced by Patriot Pictures and Maverick Films.


Tanzania "Tanzie" (Hilary Duff) and Ava (Haylie Duff) are two rich, spoiled Hollywood socialite sisters who enjoy material things such as shopping and dating, rather than caring about the family cosmetics company which was founded by their late father, Victor Marchetta (Philip Casnoff). Marchetta Cosmetics is run by co-founder and family friend Tommy Katzenbach (Brent Spiner). Tanzie plans to go to college in the future and Ava is planning to announce her engagement with fiancé Mic (Brandon Beemer).

When a major media scandal involving the Marchetta night cream causing disfigurement breaks, the girls and their father's reputation is destroyed, and Ava & Tanzie retreat to their mansion. The girls do a homemade spa and Tanzie accidentally spills nail polish remover. Ava lights a cigarette and when an argument breaks out between the sisters, an accidental fire starts from the dropped cigarette. Ava saves her father's watch & her engagement party dress while Tanzie saves their TiVo box which had recordings of her father talking about his cosmetics. They leave for a hotel but soon learn all their credit cards have been shut down, leaving the girls completely broke. They go and stay with their maid and close family friend Inez (María Conchita Alonso) in her small apartment. Their car gets stolen by two guys (Joel Madden and Benji Madden) whom they naively mistook for valets.

The next morning, Ava and Tanzie take a bus, get off at the wrong stop and have to walk the rest of the way to Ava's engagement party. They are refused entry & when their friend Etienne (Ty Hodges) ignores them, the girls realize that their friends only liked them for their money. Ava's fiancé Mic gets his agent Sol (Larry Poindexter) to dump her, saying that she is now a 'liability.' Tommy plans to persuade the board of directors to sell Marchetta Cosmetics to their archrival Fabiella (Anjelica Huston) for $60 million. (Or $30 million apiece.) The girls are resigned to the fact that their company will be sold to Fabiella and are given 30 days until the stockholders meeting, when the deal will be made official. While the deal means the girls will be able to return to their extravagant lifestyles, they are nonetheless depressed over their father's legacy being destroyed. After Tanzie's love interest and the company's lab technician Rick (Marcus Coloma) helps them evade the press outside, Ava and Tanzie decide to become 'private investigators' and approach free legal clinic lawyer Henry (Lukas Haas) for help. He agrees, after initially refusing to help them as they are not 'underprivileged.' Determined to restore their father's reputation and the company he left as his legacy, the sisters are determined to expose the truth.

Tanzie is watching the news and sees a woman that looks familiar. She rewatches a news broadcast on her TiVo and recognises a woman who accused Marchetta of leaving her disfigured, was also featured on an eczema documentary on KLAE. Tanzie goes to the KLAE offices dressed provocatively and flirts with the receptionist, who allows her access to the file room. She manages to get the address of the woman, before being arrested and put in jail for fraud and trespassing. Ava has to pawn her dad's Rolex (her most treasured possession) to pay Tanzie's bail money after Henry helps her realise that family is more important than material things.

The woman, Margo Thorness, claims that Marchetta paid for her cosmetic surgery for the damage caused by Marchetta Everdew night cream, but Ava & Tanzie learn from her neighbor that she has lied since she was born with a skin disease. The girls meet with the board of directors and successfully manage to clear the Marchetta name, by revealing that Tommy (their Father's best friend and trustee of the company) was behind the scandal, as he had helped fabricate testimonials, and used money taken from the sisters' personal bank accounts. Tommy is promptly fired by Ava.

Six months later, the girls are seen running the company, with Ava as the new CEO and Tanzie studying while working as a chemist. Ava is now in a relationship with Henry, and Tanzie is now in a relationship with Rick.



The film began production on April 18, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. For the film's soundtrack, Hilary Duff recorded two new songs: "Happy" (which was then an early version of "Play with Fire", her single released in August 2006) and a cover version of the Madonna song "Material Girl", performed with Haylie Duff, which was the inspiration for the film's story and is featured at the beginning of the film.



On March 31, 2006, the entertainment site reported that Lukas Haas had said he did not expect the film to be released. These statements were confirmed on April 5, in an article in The Ryersonian. Haas expressed his unhappiness with the film, and said they had been trying to sell the film for a long time with little success.[2] On April 6, the website Box Office Mojo reported that MGM had picked up the rights to Material Girls and would be releasing it on August 25 (this was later changed to August 18). On May 2, the official website for Martha Coolidge reported that it would be released on around 2,000 screens.[3]

Material Girls was released in 1,500 theaters in the U.S. and debuted at #9 on the weekend box office chart, grossing only US$4.62 million in its first three days of release.[4] The DVD for Material Girls was released on December 12, 2006 in the U.S by 20th Century Fox under the MGM Home Entertainment label. It is a double-sided DVD with special features including the music video for Hilary Duff's single "Play with Fire". In the UK the film was released on March 2, 2007 to coincide with the release of Duff's single "With Love", her album Dignity, and the UK release of her scent With Love... Hilary Duff. It was distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. The film has garnered a total of $16,847,695 worldwide.[5]

Critical response[edit]

The film received extremely negative reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes ranking Material Girls 46th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 4%,[6] and 17% by Metacritic.[7] Hilary and Haylie Duff's performances were panned by critics and earned both of them Razzie Award nominations for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple.[8]

Amelie Gillette of The A.V. Club wrote in her review: "Their portrayal isn't some light send-up of materialism. It's a light endorsement of it."[9]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote in her review: "The real-life sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff star in this incompetent spin on the poor-little-rich-girl story. Not yet legal and apparently never educated, the sisters live with a fleet of happy helpers, [...] aren’t just spoiled rotten; they’re nitwits."[10]


  1. ^ "Material Girls Official website". December 30, 2007. Archived from the original on January 13, 2008.
  2. ^ [1] Archived November 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Archived 2006-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Box Office Estimates Report for August 18-20, 2006". Box Office Prophets. 2006-08-20. Archived from the original on 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  5. ^ Box Office Mojo. "Material Girls". Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  6. ^ "Material Girls Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  7. ^ "Material Girls (2006): Reviews". 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  8. ^ Christy Lemire. "Material Girls: Critics' Reviews". MSN. United States: Microsoft. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  9. ^ Gillette, Amelie (August 23, 2006). "Material Girls". The A.V. Club. Chicago: G/O Media. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  10. ^ Dargis, Manohla (August 19, 2006). "In 'Material Girls,' Those Daffy Duff Sisters Play Rich, Daffy ... Sisters". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 5, 2019.

External links[edit]