A Deeper Look at “Sydney White – the Movie”

The Story Line.

Sydney White, an 18-year-old tomboy, has been raised by her father, a plumber who owns a small construction company.  Sydney is going off to college hoping to join Kappa Phi Nu, her mother’s sorority, there.  Sydney’s mother died when she was nine and Sydney hopes to feel a connection with her mom when she joins.  But, for various reasons the most powerful person on campus, the reigning campus queen, Rachel Witchburn, is President of Kappa Phi Nu and, from the beginning, Sydney’s a target for her.

On the night Sydney is to become a member, she is embarrassed and humiliated instead and kicked out.  She has nowhere to go but she’s kindly taken in by seven guys who know nothing (literally) about girls. They’re sweet and smart guys but radically socially-challenged.  They live in a rundown house called the Vortex; a house the campus queen, Rachel, plans to destroy.

In the meantime Sydney meets a young man, Tyler Prince, who at one time was Rachel’s boyfriend.  Sydney and Tyler hit it off together and start dating.  This makes the campus queen even madder and meaner. 

Every year there’s an election for President of the university Student Council.  Rachel Witchburn has won this election for years and she definitely plans on winning again.

Sydney decides to run her own campaign on the idea (fact) that all the money in the past has gone to the Greek houses because Rachel directs the Student Council’s money.   The other clubs have been ignored.  After a pretty hard-fought campaign, Sydney White and her seven guys win.   The rattrap Vortex house gets fixed up; everybody’s happy.  It’s a great ending.

 

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This movie is billed as a comedy and that is what it is, in spite of my Deeper Look comments below.  On its surface, it’s funny, has colorful characters, lots of action and I’d give it a 3 out of 4.  I really enjoyed it and, if you see it, I hope you will, too. 

           

Now, A Deeper Look.

When we look a little deeper than the “surface” story line, we see three important themes in this movie.

  1. We are all uniquely different and we should not only recognize and accept that fact but also celebrate it.  Growing up, we all want to be accepted; we all want to be valued; we all want to “fit in” with others.  But, think about it: the one, very critical place to “fit in,” first and always, is with ourselves.
  2. When we find ourselves in situations where we don’t “fit the mold,” as Sydney does here, we should be “true to ourselves and what we believe in.”

Sydney makes a defining statement when Rachel Witchburn dismisses her from the sorority.  Sydney says that, “If this is what it means to be Nu, I don’t want it anyway.”  She knows that she isn’t like Rachel Witchburn and she doesn’t want to be; she’s comfortable with who she is and what she values in life.  She’s independent and self-confident.

  1. At yet a deeper level, we can look at the movie as a struggle between ”good” and “evil,” even though it’s set on a college campus and the players are mostly teens or young adults.

As we follow Rachel Witchburn throughout the movie, we see that she stands forpower (when it’s threatened, she lies and cheats to keep it), money, status, image, being above others, and material possessions.. 

On the other hand, Sydney stands for:  equality, taking care of others (wherever she is, whenever she can), friendship, respecting others, ”doing the right thing,” disinterest in material things, giving back.

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I’ll speak for myself:  I’m really glad Sydney comes out on top.  She brought a lot of other ordinary but valuable people along with her when she won the election.  She’s a great girl who identifies with others in a caring way.

As it’s pointed out in the election we all have individual characteristics that might not be looked at as desirable by others but we can still respect and value ourselves and each other enough to get along and work and play together.   Hooray for Sydney White!

 

Warmest wishes until next time,

                                                      Joan

 

If you’re interested in more information on Values, there’s a little more on my www.Joanchamberlain.com website.  As always, thanks so much for reading and if you have movie-lover friends, please share.            

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