If one were only given three words in which to describe Kirsten Dunst, then all three of those words would be "cute". But luckily you are allowed to go a little more in depth around here, so I am going to use a few more words to describe her.
Kirsten Dunst is a German-American actress who has been in a lot of bad films, as well as a few good ones. She was born in 1982 in New Jersey, which isn't exactly the center of the Hollywood universe, but it was good enough for Kirsten to get her start. At the age of three she began her career by doing television commercials. Commercials would carry her (and her family) through until the late 80s.
She had a few small roles in various film and television shows in the early 90s, but she didn't hit it big until 1994. That was the year that Interview with the Vampire was released. She played the part of "Claudia" the eternally youthful vampire child.
Kirsten graduated from high school in June of 2000, which also brings me to my other favorite Kirsten Dunst movie, which is "Bring It On" a cheerleader film that is surprisingly fascinating (well it was to me anyway).
- Elizabethtown (2005)
In Elizabethtown Kirsten plays a flight attendant (Claire Colburn) who basically throws herself continually at Orlando Bloom until the relationship eventually sticks.
Kirsten is beginning to finally play adult characters. Her character in Elizabethtown is actually supposed to be around her own age. Definitely not the high schooler role she played for so long.
This one is kind of fun because Kirsten's character in the movie operates in a relatively non-female manner. In most movies it is the guy who does all the crazy things to get the girl and not the other way around. This is another movie where she does an accent, this time a southern one.
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This is an absolutely awesome film, but Kirsten's character is only a minor role. The main plot does not involve her at all, but several of the side plots do. Apparently her character had a larger role in the script but a lot of it ended up getting cut out.
Kirsten hasn't really done silly, giggly and dumb for a while so it was nice to see that again. Most of her later films feature her playing characters that are at least a bit more serious than this one.
- Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Kirsten reprises her role as Mary Jane Watson in this film. I must say she does the damsel in distress bit fairly well, and the red hair is really starting to grow on me.
Kirsten basically reprises the same role she played in Spiderman with the same skill and all the same bits. I wish I had more to say about it, but I don't.
- Wimbledon (2004)
Kirsten seems to be moving further and further away from playing high school students, but she is still definitely playing young characters. In Wimbledon she plays a young professional tennis player, who has a very decent shot at winning Wimbledon.
Kirsten's character seems based on several young tennis stars whose parents play an overwhelming role in their career (although I won't mention any names). She simply wants to make love to hot guys and play tennis, while her father is quite adamant that she just plays tennis.
Overall this is one of her better "adult" roles, she is finally learning how to play a real woman, while maintaining that youthful charm at the same time.
- Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Kirsten has always done superior and stuck up extremely well, and she shines in this role where she is essentially playing the villian.
Kirsten spends most of the film as the adversary against many other girls (and her teacher Julia Roberts). They are looking to expand their minds and freedom, while Kirsten's character reminds them of the reality of 1950's upper middle class life.
- Levity (2003)
In Levity Kirsten plays Sofia, a party girl, daughter of a (fictional) pop singer from the 1970s. Her character tries to lose herself in drugs and the party lifestyle, but she eventually finds some focus.
This isn't really Kirsten's movie. She has an important role, but doesn't really get a whole lot of screen time.
- Spider-Man (2002)
Kirsten plays Spider-Man/Peter Parker's love interest (Mary Jane) in this film. She is nearly perfect (as always). Her kissing scenes in particular just keep getting better and better. I am certain that there will end up being three Spider-Man movies, so it looks like we are going to get the chance to see Kirsten play the same character more than once. Well, technically she plays the same characters fairly often, but this time they will actually have the same name.
My only complaint about her in this movie was the hair, she just didn't look right with red hair. But Mary Jane was supposed to have red hair, so what could they do?
- The Cat's Meow (2001)
This was a difficult film to track down. I finally had to resort to buying a large lot of films on eBay that had a copy of this one included.
Apparently this movie is about a bunch of 1920s actors and actresses on a boat. It seems that everyone is playing a real Hollywood figure, and Kirsten is having an affair with some guy who is far too old.
About halfway through the film my phone rang and I had to leave and I never bothered to finish watching it. The movie just didn't grab me, and Kirsten was not her usual self at all.
- Crazy / Beautiful (2001)
I didn't really like this movie. Kirsten's character just seemed completely wrong for her. She usually plays someone that you can't help but like, but in this movie she played that really messed up girl that everybody used to know. I would have probably enjoyed this one more if I hadn't already seen almost all of her films, as I just couldn't get past my preconceived idea of who Kirsten is supposed to play.
Now getting past my preconceived notions, what this film does have is a passable romance story, lots of kissing, underwear, and angst, along with more high school kids who act like they are in their mid twenties.
This movie originally had a very gratuitious nude scene scripted where Kirsten was supposed to walk across the house naked to get some condoms, but she refused to do it, and it was cut from the script.
- Get Over It (2001)
In "Get Over It" Kirsten is basically playing a less motivated version of her "Torrance" character from "Bring It On". She is as cute as ever, and this film is worth seeing just for the 30 second scene of her in a bikini. She is the pursuer in her relationship in this film, which is almost the norm for her (Dunst usually seems to select her boys, and not let herself be selected). We also get to see her (pretending I think), singing, which is one of the better parts of the film.
Now lets look at the film as a whole. It has an interesting cast (including Sisquo who was terrible). The only stand outs are Dunst and Martin Short. The other main characters are only passable, and the supporting characters are almost completely devoid of personality altogether. You will probably have trouble remembering the names of the characters as soon as the film is over (if not during), as they are that unmemorable.
Unfortunately the whole movie is fairly unoriginal, and uses a lot of gimmicks that only end up detracting from the picture as a whole. It appears that they attempt to do "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as the film itself, and then as a play within the film. It just didn't come off as well as it could have. And like all teen movies, everyone acts like they are in their late 20s, and no one has parents, except for Berke.
- Lover's Prayer (2000)
I went through a lot of trouble locating this movie. I ended up having to purchase it twice, as my first copy went missing in the mail.
This is a passable film, but Kirsten fans should love it. Kirsten is in top form, alternating between superiority, and approachability in her portrayal of a 19th century Russian princess from an impoverished family.
This one combines all my favorite Kirsten bits, accents, period dress, and intrigue. I give this one a solid Four Kirstens.
- Deeply (2000)
Deeply is a romantic tragedy that tells the story of two different young women, "Claire" and "Silly". There are three simultaneous plot threads going at the same time. So you have to pay attention.
The basic story revolves around a cursed island, and the lost loves of Claire and Silly. Kirsten plays the part of Silly (as do 5 other actresses, as Silly is shown at many different ages, but it is mostly Kirsten). From the very beginning you just get the feeling that there is not going to be a happy ending for any of the characters involved.
Kirsten's character is a bit of an oddball for her, an insomniac island girl with a thick accent. As always, she is at her best when doing crying or kissing scenes, and this film is no different. All in all this film is about 50 percent Kirsten Dunst and 50 percent Julia Brendler. You almost end up being more interested in Julia's story, as the ending to Kirsten's is fairly obvious.
- Bring It On (2000)
This movie was all hers, and is the reason that I like her so much. In "Bring It On" she played "Torrance", who was an ultra-cute, cheerleading obsessed teenage girl. Maybe it was the script, or maybe it was Kirsten, but the "Torrance" character seemed way more accessible than any of the cheerleaders that I ever went to school with. Not to mention that she even managed to make the whole thing seem kind of nerdy. Furthering the apparent "accessability factor" of Kirsten's character was her leading man in the film. Now in reality he was of way cooler than any of us ever were, but somehow I was still able to relate to him, which made the idea of Kirsten Dunst that more accessable.
If you are watching this movie purely for skin, then you are in luck, The best scene in the movie (as far as that stuff goes), is right at the beginning, where all the girls are changing in the locker room. So you can pretty much turn it off after that.
- Luckytown (2000)
This is a rather complicated film with several stories going on at once. Kirsten is technically the star, but her story is probably the least interesting out of them.
Kirsten plays "Lidda" an eighteen year old girl who goes off to Las Vegas to find her deadbeat father. Along the way she picks up a video store clerk/budding poker player whom she had a longtime crush on.
Everything gets complicated once they get to Vegas. There are several criminal types, and a lot of people end up dead in the end. This is not a film for children, as there is a lot of nudity and violence, and even the usual squeeky clean Kirsten as briefly employed as a stripper, although she doesn't last long enough to take off any clothes.
- The Crow: Salvation (2000)
This is a passable action film. It isn't really worth watching more than once. I imagine that it will end up gettin played late at night on the USA network a lot.
The basic story is that this kid gets wrongly accused of murdering his girlfriend. Then they electrocute him for it. Except he doesn't die, instead he comes back to life to find the real killers (except unlike OJ, this kid really is innocent). All of this has something to do with a crow.
Kirsten plays the younger sister of the murdered girl. She eventually learns what really happened and joins forces with our undead crow friend. The age of Kirsten's character is never established in this film. I think she is supposed to be about nineteen or so.
This movie is not for those with weak stomaches. There is a lot of blood, bad situations, and a scene where Kirsten has her lips sewn shut (ouch!).
- Dick (1999)
This movie is about a couple of teenage girls who get mixed up with President Nixon, befriend him, and ultimately change their opinion of him and cause his impeachment. Kirsten is cute, but extremely ditzy in this one, as is her co-star Michelle Williams. Kirsten's performance reminded me a lot of her character in Strike!, but without the hidden intelligence that her Strike! character had.
One of the best things about the movie is how the girls always manage to say things like "I love Dick!" and "You can't let Dick rule your life!", right as the room gets quiet. They are talking about Nixon, but everyone else always assumes something else.
Kirsten (and Michelle) wear loads of really cute early 70s era clothing, and are perfectly adorable from the first frame until the last. The American Flag outfits that they wore at the end are required viewing for heterosexual males everywhere.
- Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)
This was a hilarious movie about a small town beauty pageant, and all the things that go wrong with it. This movie is apparently a "mockumentary", which is a fake comedic documentary. This is probably the best movie that you never heard of. You will recognize most of the adults in the film (all of whom smoke constantly), but the girls themselves are mostly lesser known actresses.
Over all she is as cute as always. She doesn't really have a love interest in this one, which is a bit different than usual. It is worth seeing just to hear how cute Kirsten sounds doing a Minnesota accent. Her co-stars are (mostly) as cute and interesting as she is, especially if you like real girls. I rank this one right up there with Strike! and Bring It On as one of the essential Kirsten Dunst films.
This movie seems to have bombed in the theatres, but try picking it up at the video store, it is worth watching (again and again and again).
- The Virgin Suicides (1999)
In this film she played the part of "Lux", one of the five suicidal sisters that the film is named for. This movie is a bit different for her, she is still as "cute" as ever, but she also manages to be sad, evil, erotic, and self destructive all at the same time. She is the person that carries this film. Her three older sisters seem to be almost identical in personality. While her younger sister "Cecilia" is brilliantly portrayed, but dies off pretty early in the film.
This is a great movie, but not for the girly content. The girls are all pretty, and spend a lot of time in their nightgowns, but unfortunately you know what is going to happen to them, so there is no joy in watching them.
- Strike! (1998)
If you like Kirsten then you will absolutely love this film. The entire movie is filled with perfectly beautiful real teenaged girls. It is set in an all girl's school, and all of the main characters manage to look cute from the first frame until the last. Kirsten got first billing in this film, but Gaby Hoffman had a bit more screen time. Kirsten's character reminded me a lot of her portrayal of "Amy Marsh" in Little Women, more innocent and intelligent like Samantha, and nothing like the sex kitten in Crazy / Beautiful.
The other stand-out role was Rachael Leigh Cook in the part of "Abby", a wonderfully tense girl who had no friends due to the fact that she was some sort of student police (or something like that).
I simply cannot recommend this movie enough, provided you enjoy watching teenage girls. If you are looking for a plot that isn't remniscent of a Sweet Valley High novel, then look elsewhere. But if you just want to watch a bunch of adorable 16 year old girls, then look right here. I give this film a perfect 10 out of 10 Kirstens.
- Small Soldiers (1998)
Kirsten was 16 and already a full-fledged babe when this movie was filmed. But unfortunately it is a "family" action film, which means that it has a very predictable script. Kirsten's character in this film seems to be mostly herself, but the film doesn't give her much time to do any real acting, just a few minutes of looking cute, and some screaming and running around later.
A few of the scenes could actually be called acting, and in those Kirsten gave us a bit of a sneak preview of the hot high school Kirsten that she would officially transition into with Strike!.
- True Heart (1997)
This is a "family" film, and is perhaps the worst movie that has ever had the Kirsten Dunst name attached to it. She is the only reason to watch this film, unless you have children, they might enjoy it simply because it has bears and trees in it. I can only recommend this one for Kirsten Dunst completists.
The basic plot of the film is that Kirsten and her twin brother (Zachery Ty Bryan, that kid from Home Improvement), are in a plane crash in Canada. The pilot and the other passenger are killed, leaving them alone in the Canadian wilderness. They quickly meet up with an indian with terrible grammar (which is inconsistently bad, because the script is bad). They then proceed to go on a rather unbelievable adventurer involving murderous poachers, bears, and Mexican-Canadian Forestry agents.
The whole movie just seems totally unbelievable. I just couldn't accept the fact that a random group of bear poachers would really just go off trying to murder everyone in sight. They seem to have such a lack of remorse that they are shown joking around and chatting like everything is great, one scene after two of their friends were killed.
What really makes this movie so terrible was that Kirsten was in top form, but she just had nothing to work with. The entire film was filled with bad sitcom actors, reciting terrible dialogue in reaction to unbelievable situations, in Canada for crying out loud. Her reactions, expressions, and other non-speaking parts were some of her best ever, but there was no way that was going to help this movie. She did the best she could, and I could find no fault with her performance. There is only so much you can do in a movie when your best line is "What do people gather?".
- Wag the Dog (1997)
Kirsten has approximately 2 minutes of screen time in this movie. She plays a young actress who is hired to help with a plot to manufacture a phony war. Basically all she does is get excited about the job, then get pissed that she can't tell anyone about it, and then run across a blue screen holding a bag of chips (which they turn into a cat using a computer). The movie is well worth watching, but Kirsten's role could have been played by anyone.
- Anastasia (1997)
In this (animated) film she provides the voice of "Young Anastasia". There is no real reason for Kirsten fans to seek this film out. Look for it if you are into cartoons, otherwise you can pass on this one.
- Mother Night (1996)
Kirsten has a single scene in this film, but it is her scene. She plays a young Nazi girl with a fatalistic attitude who pledges her love for Howard Campbell, her (much older) brother in law.
The only notable thing about Kirsten's performance in this film is the German accent and the completely defeated attitude her character portrays. I can't really decide if either one of them are good or bad.
- Jumanji (1995)
I don't have too much to say about this one. Kirsten's character is kind of quirky, and fairly likeable. A bit sneakier than her usual honest characters. She does manage to do a few assorted accents and a lot of really impressive screaming.
Kirsten is basically still a little girl in this movie, but she is a completely different one then she was in every other move. This film seems to have caught her right in the middle of her growth spurt, and is the one film between child Kirsten (of Little Women and earlier), and the babe Kirsten of Wag the Dog and beyond.
The real stars of the film were Robin Williams and the special effects crew (a lot of the acting in this film was done against a blue screen, and then the animals were added later). See if you can spot the time travel paradox that the main characters create.
- Little Women (1994)
Kirsten is simply adorable in this movie. There is just something about Kirsten's earliest performances that put her newer stuff to shame. Maybe it is just the honesty that only a twelve year old can show, but she really does shine in this film.
She is still very much a little girl in this film, but she played her role perfectly (stealing a lot of scenes). I especially liked the part where she was in the buggy with Laurie and she goes on about how she didn't want to die without ever having been kissed.
All is going well, but then about halfway through the film she grew up and turned into Samantha Mathis, who is quite beautiful, but not nearly as interesting of an Amy March as Kirsten was.
This is a great movie for anyone who likes good movies, girls, or good movies filled with girls. But don't bother watching it thinking that Kirsten is going to be all hot and stuff, remember that she was twelve when they made this (you dirty bird). Watch it for Winona Ryder, as she was plenty hot, assuming that you like 19th century fashion.
- Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
In my opinion, she was what made this film, otherwise it would have just been a movie about a pair of angsty vampires walking around in the dark. I still believe this to be her best role to date. It was a good thing for her that the film was made when it was, if it had been made any later, then Kirsten would have been too old to pass off as Claudia. I believe she was 11 when the movie was filmed, but the character of Claudia was supposed to be much younger than that (or at least it seemed like she was).
- Greedy (1994)
Greedy is a comedy about a bunch of backstabbing cousins who are all after their Uncle Joe's fortune. Kirsten is nothing but a background character. She is in a lot of scenes, but all her lines are nothing more than unscripted jabbering and screaming.
- High Strung (1991)
I cannot find a copy of this movie for a reasonable price anywhere. I am certainly not paying $30 for a used VHS copy of it on eBay just so I can confirm that Kirsten Dunst was in the movie, was 8 years old, and probably giggled.
- The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
This film really isn't as bad as everyone says it is. It has a nice a twisty plot, and is good at making you feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately a lot of the acting is wooden, not even Tom Hanks can fix that.
Melanie Griffith is particularly annoying in this film. You don't just hate her character, you also hate Melanie simply for playing her.
Kirsten is almost unrecognizeable. She plays the part of the daughter, and she only appears on screen twice. One of those scenes focuses on her, but she shows none of the qualities that she will develop in a few years. She mostly just giggles.
- New York Stories (1989)