Very Special Movie: Model Behavior

I present you with the greatest Disney Channel Original Movie ever. This month’s very special movie of the month is Model Behavior. It stars Justin Timberlake and Maggie Lawson from Psych. It’s a classic tale of dream makeover, fish out of water, and total and complete lies about one’s identity. It’s kind of like The Parent Trap or Trading Places–if those movies were about winning Justin Timberlake’s love and adoration.

Alex is a plain girl with strict parents who make her go to bed early, so she can get good grades and help them with their catering business. Janine is a super model superstar with a fab life but she’s not allowed to eat fried food. Alex is aware of Janine (she’s a supermodel, duh) but she doesn’t realize that they look exactly alike (because they’re played by the same actress). When they meet at an event that Alex’s family is catering, they decide to trade places for a week.

Each girl is totally happy with her new life and everything is super boring until Alex bumps into Justin Timberlake and agrees to go out with him as Janine. Meanwhile, Janine is revitalizing Alex’s image at school with her super confidence. She even lands a date with Alex’s crush, a jerk named Eric. They end up at the same restaurant one night and are both pissed that the other is going out with a guy they think sucks–Janine because she thinks it’s all a publicity stunt and Alex because Eric wouldn’t date her before (when she was living her own life and not Janine’s). Thus, they briefly switch places again so they can have a conversation with their respective dudes.

Janine really rips Justin Timberlake a new one, and for whatever reason he doesn’t get up and leave immediately. When Alex returns to the table (as Janine) she tells him to forget whatever she just said to him because sometimes she has “moods” and it’s almost like she is “bipolar.” And even then, he doesn’t leave. This is the crazy/hot scale in action, people.

Oh and by the way, for whatever reason Alex’s strict parents who make her be home by 9 pm don’t supervise her kid brother at all. So even though he’s probably 12 years old, he gets into this classy New York restaurant and spies on Alex. Then he films Alex and Janine coming out of the bathroom together. Serious rookie mistake. They don’t even stagger.

When Janine gets homes to Alex’s house from her classy dinner with Eric, Alex’s dad is all pissed because she forgot agreed to help her dad with catering. Then he grounds her for three weeks. Like wtf. Are you allowed to make your minor child work in your business like that and then punish her when you didn’t give her a choice? This appears to be a middle class Long Island family. Like how can they possibly afford to live on Long Island if they have to force their children to work as day laborers?

Anyway, things start to go awry here. Alex gets Janine fired by floundering in a fashion show and Janine ruins Alex’s interview for a Summer Program. Then Alex’s kid brother shows up to confront her at Janine’s apartment. Like how was he even allowed in there?? I guess they let just anyone up into superstar’s apartments in the early aughts. It was a simpler time.

Anyway, Alex has Justin Timberlake meet her out on the streets of New York. Then she kind of changes her appearance to look more like her real self, but she doesn’t want to tell him who she is. She hands him the tape that her snooping brother made, so he can see for himself. Then they kiss. And Eric catches them–thinking that Alex/Janine is cheating on him. This leads Justin Timberlake to think Janine/Alex is cheating on him. Basically, the worst way to come clean ever.

Alex and Janine call each other that night to describe how they have destroyed each other’s lives. Then they’re all like h0-hum the grass is not always greener. FALSE. The were doing very well as each other and they blew it because they are dumb. Like fine, it’s hard to be a model but you got to make out with Justin Timberlake so STFU. I do feel bad for Janine though. Alex’s dad is kind of a jerk.

Both of their families follow them there, and Justin Timberlake shows up too. He’s gone to the dance because he finally watched the tape that Alex gave him of both of the girls leaving the bathroom…I’m assuming she must have recorded a portion where she reveals her true identity and high school because that’s the only way this makes sense. Then their families are like woah we suck enough that our kids pretended to be other people and they decide to start listening to their children.

Very Special Lesson: If you wear glasses and you switch places with someone who doesn’t wear glasses but otherwise looks exactly like you, then you won’t need to wear your glasses while being that other person. It’s like free Lasik.

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4 thoughts on “Very Special Movie: Model Behavior

  1. And this perfectly encapsulates my dream world. My friends and I were obsessed with this movie for a long time. I still quote it. “From the superficial stars to the real ones.” Also such a great cast with KLG, Body by Jake, and KLG’s real-life son, Cody playing a bizarre child agent, and NOBODY’S ANGEL. And soundtrack! I know I sound like a crazy person but this movie shaped me. Thank you for dedicating a post to it. Mad respect.

    1. BODY BY JAKE IS KATHY LEE’S SON?? I omitted Nobody’s Angel from this post because I couldn’t find the music video that shows clips from the movie. That did exist, right?? I distinctly remember it and I don’t think I made that up.

      1. Ah oops, no! Cody Gifford plays Maximilian, Janine’s brother. And that kid from Degrassi plays Alex’s brother. Also isn’t Alex more of a super model name than Janine?

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