The basic storyline of Crazy/Beautiful is one we've all heard before: two people from different worlds fall in love. An earnest and believable cast work overtime to pull off the increasingly obvious tale, and a surprisingly nimble teen romance results.
Carlos (Jay Hernandez) is a hardworking Mexican-American who spends hours commuting to the high school that Nicole (Kirsten Dunst), a drug-abusing congressman's daughter, shrugs off. The film extends the mold of the perfect black man (which began with Sidney Poitier and most recently surfaced in Finding Forrester) to Hispanics, so Carlos is not only a straight-A student, but he's also a football champion with a heart of gold. Rather impressively, first-time screen actor Hernandez tailors this starchy suit into a satisfyingly personal performance. Dunst does the same with her relatively cookie-cutter character. Thus, while the film takes its predictable turns, the nuances of the solid acting, believable dialogue, sweet-natured romance across social divides—come to the surface and sparkle.