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Movies & TV

20th Jun 2023

Happy 20th anniversary to one of the worst movies of all time

Rory Cashin

From Justin To Kelly

It was so bad, the star begged to be released from their contract to make it.

Total Film ranked it among their 66 worst movies ever made. It has its own entry on the worst movies ever made list on Wikipedia. It was so bad that the Golden Raspberry Awards (aka the Razzies) created a one-off category just so they could present the movie with a trophy on the night.

From Justin To Kelly is a unique kind of terrible, in that pretty much everyone who laid eyes on it could see how terrible was, and even some of the people involved in making it practically begged to be released from their contracts so they didn’t have to take part in its creation.

In September 2002, Kelly Clarkson was announced as the winner of the first season of American Idol, with Justin Guarini named the first runner-up (no, we’ve never heard of him either). On 20 June 2003, a movie was released featuring these two winners, a remake of a 1960 comedy film titled Where The Boys Are (no, we’ve never heard of it either).

The story revolves around a waitress (Clarkson) from Texas and a college student (Guarini) from Pennsylvania who meet during spring break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and come together through their shared love of singing.

Coming from the writer of Spice World: The Movie and the director of She’s All That – which, despite its defenders, is quite bad – hopes should never have been high that this would be a modern classic, but nobody could’ve predicted it to be THIS bad…

Following the movie’s release, one of its biggest attackers has been none other than Kelly Clarkson, as she told Entertainment Tonight: “Can I tell you something? I don’t even remember [filming] it, because all I did was cry. I obviously tried to put my best foot forward but just that’s my best foot forward.”

She also told Us Weekly that “I cried for a solid hour on the phone with the creator of American Idol and pleaded to be let out of the contract that said I had to film From Justin to Kelly,” before telling TIME that “I just want it to go away. I want to own all of it. I just want it to not be here.”

And that was before it got screened to critics, who gave it a fairly generous 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, but nothing gets the creative juices of a movie critic going more than something truly, TRULY terrible…

The Boston Globe – “They have the chemistry of step-siblings, so a movie that has them make out is, as the one of the few girls in the theater exclaimed, so gross.”

Entertainment Weekly – “It’s like Grease: The Next Generation, acted out by the food-court staff at SeaWorld.”

Salon – “One of the worst movies you’ll ever see – but it’s still not worth seeing.”

New York Post – “Arguably the most insipid movie released so far this century.”

Should you want to, From Justin To Kelly is available to rent or buy on Google Play right now.

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