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In this contemporary retelling of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” Cathy Earnshaw (Paloma Kwiatkowski), a teenage outcast in Malibu, Calif., seeks solace after her mother’s death in the arms of Heath (Andrew Jacobs), the son of a woman employed by her father (James Caan). But when her friends mock her unconventional boyfriend choice, she dumps Heath for a more popular student, stirring up a whirlwind of jealousy, pride and passion. (Kathryn Shattuck in New York Times)
This new contemporary reinvention of Emily Bronte's brooding romance "Wuthering Heights" refashions headstrong Cathy Earnshaw (Paloma Kwiatkowski) as a Southern California teenager struggling to fit in with her wealthy Malibu classmates even as she grieves the death of her mother. She is instantly attracted to the troubled Heath (Andrew Jacobs), whom her father (James Caan) takes in after the boy's mother is deported. (North Jersey Record)
As you might have guessed, this movie is a contemporary take on Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Catherine Earnshaw is now Cathy (Paloma Kwiatkowski), a SoCal teen, and her Heathcliff is the troubled bad boy Heath (Andrew Jacobs). Don't expect a happy ending. (Sharon Kennedy Wynn in Tampa Bay Times)
This new TV movie is a contemporary reinvention of Emily Brontë's brooding romance "Wuthering Heights" refashions headstrong Cathy (Paloma Kwiatkowski) as a Southern California teenager struggling to fit in with her wealthy classmates as she grieves the death of her mother and is attracted to the troubled Heath (Andrew Jacobs), whom her father (James Caan) takes in after the boy's mother is deported. Francesca Eastwood and Sean Flynn also star. (Ed Stockly in Los Angeles Times)
The film “Wuthering High School” (Lifetime at 8 p.m.) is a modern retelling of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” in which a high school girl in Malibu struggles to cope with her mother’s death and becomes irresistibly drawn to a troubled boy. Stars Francesca Eastwood, James Caan and Sean Flynn. (Rachel Lubitz in Washington Post)
If The CW was adapting classic novels instead of comic books, I like to think that they would have come up with something like this: A soapy, sexy take on the beloved Emily Brontë tale about a young woman in love with the wrong man. Set in Malibu instead of the moors of England, the film stars Paloma Kwiatkowski (Bates Motel) as Cathy, the daughter of wealth whose grief over the death of her mother leads to alienation, ennui and some bad choices involving her bestie's boyfriend. Enter Heath, an undocumented kid taken in by Cathy's millionaire dad (James Caan), who brings out Cathy's reckless side. Soon, there are sparks, scandals, and proms to worry about and before you can say "we need a Cruel Intentions reboot," things get darker than most teen dramas dare to go these days. (Damian Holbrook in TVinsider)
Lifetime calls this “a modern retelling of Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights.’” It’s about a teenager named Cathy (Paloma Kwiatkowski) who struggles to fit in at her wealthy Malibu high school, until her father (James Caan) brings home a young man (Andrew Jacobs), the son of a long-time employee who was suddenly deported. Heath and Cathy fall in love, but it’s a destructive relationship. Will Cathy cave to pressure to dump Heath? Will this end in tragedy?!?!? (Brooke Cain in News & Observer)
Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel, Wuthering Heights, is perfect for a classroom milieu: Much in the same way Romeo And Juliet appeals to the high school set, Wuthering Heights is all about high-strung emotion gussied up in pretty language. It’s part all-consuming love story, part revenge fantasy gone wrong, part unrequited amorous tragedy. What can be more high school than that? There’s a reason the novel makes for a killer Kate Bush song. It’s even surprising that it has taken so long for. (#fnews)Reviews:
Featuring Cathy Earnshaw as a traumatized young girl who has lost her mother, wandering alone through her family’s mansion and being slut-shamed at school, and Heath as the son of an Earnshaw employee whose entire family has been deported by the US government, the potential for an excellent star-crossed romance is certainly there to be mined. She pouts almost exclusively, he does tricks on his skateboard, they hate authority and the world, and they love each other. It sounds delicious. Unfortunately, the whole production is so wooden that I actually found it boring, which is never something that could never be said about the source material, with its raw emotional power.Negative
The reality is, Brontë‘s novel doesn’t have a ton of intricate plot points. It’s a mood and meaning piece, propelled forward by the strength of a wild and isolated setting that is symbolically rich — as well as by the almost unbearably intense love and hatred its characters experience. In this spirit, Wuthering High School offers moments of anarchic joy, such as when Heath and Cathy tear up the books in their overbearing health class and lead their schoolmates in a rampage, then run away and jump together into the ocean. Yet I kept thinking, I hope these are just abstinence-only sex-ed textbooks and not, you know, book books, because that would be horrible. Surely, fans of teenage melodrama will enjoy the drugs, the mean-girl scenes in the school bathroom, the parties, the loud montages with moody pop music. Paloma Kwiatkowski as Cathy projects unceasingly stylized, blank, Lana Del Rey-style rage, while Andrew Jacobs nails the brooding stares of Heath.
And yet for all Wuthering Heights‘ sweeping qualities, it has a good deal of subtlety: the different layers of power — class, race, gender, social charm, the acquisition of money — constantly switch back and forth, and our sympathies with them. This is not something the Lifetime film achieves. The nadir, for me, comes when Heath takes over the Earnshaw’s home. Arriving there, Cathy and her friends find it has been taken over by people of color, presumably Mexicans, gorgeous women in bikinis, tough-looking skater guys, loud music. “Get me out of this place!” cries Cathy. Associating Heathcliff’s angry, vengeful heel turn with his ethnicity is something that even the sheltered Emily Brontë didn’t explicitly do with her character in the 19th century. It’s gross, and undercuts the campy potential of the whole film. (Sarah Seltzer)
But Wuthering High School’s biggest sin is that it’s boring, something the novel, with its soap operatics adorned in gorgeous language, can’t claim. The pace languishes as Kwiatkowski lifelessly narrates what’s supposed to be a tale of passion. The final scene takes a turn for the macabre, which is impressive considering the source material does not end without its own dramatics. But it’s too little, too late, and too strange to help what came before it. (Molly Eichel)Very Negative
This 21st-century retelling of the Brontë classic is grimly earnest from the get-go. Worse, it seems to have no idea how pretentious it seems, or how funny it could become if it just let itself go.
No, like its heroine Cathy Earnshaw (Paloma Kwiatkowski) and her endless, drearily uninspired voiceovers, “Wuthering High School” is one long drag.
Makers of such adaptations are never content to place them in any old town or high school. It has to be located in Malibu, where only richest and the most spoiled can treat each other with mean-girl ferocity. The kids in “Clueless,” the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” are naive and frolicsome innocents by comparison. Gee, can it really be 20 years since “Clueless”? (Kevin McDonough)