Jawbreaker is a 1999 film written and directed by Darren Stein. The film stars Rose McGowan, Rebecca Gayheart, Julie Benz, and Judy Greer. Charlotte Ayanna has a non-speaking role in the film. The film was said to have been inspired by the 1988 film Heathers.


A high-school senior named Liz Purr (Charlotte Ayana) is kidnapped in her bed and three assailants stuff a jawbreaker down her throat. The plot gets more bizarre from there.


  • Rose McGowan as Courtney Alice Shayne
  • Rebecca Gayheart as Julie Freeman
  • Julie Benz as Marcie Fox
  • Judy Greer as Fern Mayo / Vylette
  • Chad Christ as Zack Tartak
  • Charlotte Ayanna as Elizabeth "Liz" Purr
  • Ethan Erickson as Dane Sanders
  • Pam Grier as Det. Vera Cruz
  • Carol Kane as Ms. Sherwood
  • Marilyn Manson as The Stranger
  • Tatyana Ali as Brenda
  • P. J. Soles as Mrs. Purr
  • William Katt as Mr. Purr
  • Jeff Conaway as Mr. Fox

Why It Sucks

  1. Poorly written story.
  2. Unlikeable characters.
  3. Tasteless humor (especially choking on a jawbreaker, which isn't funny at all).
  4. A bunch of scenes drag on.
  5. Nothing interesting happens.
  6. Irritating and laughably bad dialogue.
  7. Bizarre ideas for a comedy.
  8. Lazy directing.
  9. The film is basically a rehash of Heathers.
  10. Poor acting.


Jawbreaker currently holds a 7% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average 3.4 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "This throwaway comedy falls victim to its hip sensibilities." On certain websites, Jawbreaker earned the distinction of being the single worst film of 1999. Jawbreaker was also ranked among the top-ten worst films of the 1990s.

Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film with one and a half stars out of four and stated in his review "The movie is a slick production of a lame script ... If anyone in the plot had the slightest intelligence, the story would implode." Francesca Dinglasan from Boxoffice magazine gave the film one and a half out of five, criticizing the film's humor and similarities to Heathers. James Berardinelli of Reelviews awarded the film with two and a half out of four, and called it "palatable, and occasionally even clever" and ended his review with, "while the film offers more than a Heathers rehash, it never fully develops its own identity."

On Roger Ebert's Worst of 1999 show, Roger Ebert deemed it as his worst film in the What's The Matter With Kids Today? category while Joel Siegel deemed Cruel Intentions as his worst film in the same category. Ebert stated that he liked Cruel Intentions.

Box Office

Jawbreaker opened up at #13 on its opening weekend with a gross of $1,603,425 in the U.S. The film's overall gross was $3,076,820 making it a box office bomb.

Awards and nominations

Rose McGowan was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain, but lost the award to Matt Dillon and Stephen Dorff for their roles as Pat Healy and Deacon Frost in There's Something About Mary and Blade.


  • Rachael Leigh Cook auditioned for the role of Julie, reading the scene where the three girls discover Liz is dead.


Jawbreaker is featured.

External links