When I saw the promotional materials for "Sorority Wars" (Lifetime, 9 tonight), with all its pinkness, and its stars, white-bread blondes Courtney Thorne-Smith and Faith Ford, I figured it was a comedy, maybe a little 'Mean Girls' but broader, more sitcom-like.
Well, there are mean girls, but "Sorority Wars" isn't a comedy. Instead it goes the full Lifetime route: there's empowerment, mother-daughter relationships, friendships, and getting the cute guy.
The movie centers on Katie (Lucy Hale), a college freshman who heads to college primed for the sorority experience. Her mom Lutie (Thorne-Smith) and her mom's best friend Summer (Ford), even 20 years out, are all about the Deltas. Summer's daughter Gwen (Amanda Schull) is already a Delta, and as a legacy, head evil bee-otch. Katie's best friend Sara (Phoebe Strole) is skeptical about sorority life, but she goes along with her friend's desires.
The girls rush Delta, but Katie finds herself intrigued by the Kappas too, a house that's seems more down-to-earth, and more fun (it's also more diverse which I guess is code for 'cool.') Yet, she's her mother's daughter; Katie decides her Kappa attraction is just flirting. Delta will be her choice.
Until a run-in with an overzealous Gwen ends with Katie snitching on the Deltas in front of the pan-Hellenic council, and that leads to the Deltas trashing Katie on campus. Katie ends up joining the Kappas, Sara sticks with the Deltas, and the competition for the big sorority trophy is on.
The movie both embraces the stereotypes about sorority girls (uppity, cut-throat heifers) and rejects it -- those girls make for good drama, of course, but they're definitely the villains, even the girls we should feel sorry for.
Hale is spunky as Katie, a young woman who is smart, a feminist even; she's in it for the sisterhood. Ford is perfect for the ice queen she turns out to be, and Thorne-Smith does well as the mother who has lost her identity, and is flummoxed by her daughter's independence.
While "Sorority Wars" doesn't have any new take on sorority life, it's a fine fun movie about mean girls and the mothers who created them.