Like a pop svengali, Clarke has put together a line-up of characters to cater for all tastes. The film splits into four sections, covering the same three days from the perspective of each. Tamsin Egerton plays a pretty, posh blonde who jets off to New York to lose her virginity. Ophelia Lovibond is the arty indie screw-up. American actress Emma Roberts is all sass and smarts, while Shanika Warren-Markland, who had a tiny part in ‘Adulthood’, announces herself as a big new talent as the butt-kicking, feisty one. Clarke himself appears and there are cameos from R&B singer Eve and ‘Clerks’ director Kevin Smith.
The film doesn’t go in for subtlety. It’s frenetically paced, with non-stop music, and pops with teen issues: abortion, self-harm, bisexuality, suicide, stalking. That’s before you get to the diamond heist. But Clarke has got an unmistakable knack for writing teens. One of this lot is more worried that her mates aren’t talking to her than the fact that she has an international smuggling ring on her tail. As for girl power, the message doesn’t wash. These girls are brilliantly un-victimy and always come out fighting. If only they weren’t incessantly paraded about in their underwear for the viewing pleasure of men. For Clarke, to disenfranchise half his audience would be a crime worse than selling out the sisters.