As the title suggests, this movie zooms in on the life of a self-centred, spoilt, rich girl. Being the only daughter, 16-year-old Poppy (Emma Roberts) lives with her wealthy father (Aidan Quinn) in Los Angeles in mansion by the sea. In a show of “support” and to “welcome” her father’s fiancée, Poppy throws a wild party and, in the process, trashes her Malibu home. And when the fiancée’s belongings are delivered to Poppy’s home, she happily thrown them into the sea. Her shenanigans finally get on her father’s nerves. He decides to send her off to Abby Mount School for Girls in York, England.
Determined to make her stay as short as possible, Poppy makes enemies as soon as she arrives. The thing is, the Brits are not about to tolerate her nonsensical behaviour. However, when she confides in Kate (Kimberly Nixon), the most mature among the girls, about her life and how she lost her mother in a car accident when she was barely five, the girls decide to help her break school regulations so that she will be expelled and send home.
Enter the school headmistress’ son Freddie (Nick Frost) and suddenly Poppy finds a distraction. When Poppy is made captain of the school’s lacrosse team, which has yet to record its first win, Poppy decides that enough and enough and begins to trains the members, American-style. Suddenly, “boarding school” doesn’t sound so bad.
Then there is Head Girl Harriet (Georgia King) who is a constant loggerheads with Poppy. Thing get worst when Freddie seems to show more interest in Poppy. Furious at losing Freddie, Harriet schemer and makes Poppy’s life hell.
The plot is not exactly new. Despite its predictability, it is worth a watch. For one, although the Brits and the Americans speak the same language, listening to the two accents alone is amusing. Think cut-glass accent versus the twang!
Some scenes are reminiscent of Sister Act (starring Whoopi Goldberg who plays Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence), a story about Las Vegas lounge singer Cartier who witnesses a mob crime. When the police hide her as a nun in a traditional convent, she has trouble fitting in initially, only to fall in love with the place in the end.
As in Sister Act, Poppy begin to realise that boarding school need not be a dull place. Her new friends care for her, quite unlike the hanger-on in Los Angeles. And you can’t help but celebrate her success when she leads lacrosse team to glory.