There's a certain irony that Wild Child gets released the same week that Gary Glitter gets deported. Glitter, you see, is more the target audience for this enormously misguided, incorrectly certificated fish out of water tale than the teenage girls the makers clearly want to aim at. While it's certainly more realistic in terms of modern teen attitude than the recent rose-tinted, overly cosy Angus, Thongs & Full Frontal Snogging, Wild Child's endless cliches and attempts to outrage leave a very bad taste in the mouth.
When her dad (Quinn) has had enough of her wild antics, Poppy (Roberts) is despatched from her Paris Hilton-esque spoiled life in Malibu to a draughty English school to teach her a lesson. The school was the making of Poppy's late mother, so he dad is hopeful that it'll do the same for Poppy. Cue every boarding school cliché you can think of (and yes, there is a costume change montage), interspersed with swearing, talk of shagging — underage shagging as it happens — and Poppy becoming a well-rounded individual while she turns her dorm mates into abject slappers.
It's hard to work out what the worst thing about Wild Child is. The embarrassing bump and grind at the school disco? The promotion of slutty morals for 15-year-olds? The portrayal of the English as pheasant-hunting, class-obsessed idiots? The complete waste of Natasha Richardson, Daisy Donovan, Jason Watkins and — in particular — Shirley Henderson as "comedy" school personnel? There's one brief moment of respite with Nick Frost camping it up as a hairdresser, but one laugh is scant reward for sitting through 98 minutes of this badly made, appallingly judged dross.