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The Perfect Score

movie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: The Perfect Score

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Erika Christensen
Director: Brian Robbins
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 103 Minutes
Release Date: January 2004
Genre: Comedy


*Also starring: Chris Evans, Darius Miles, Leonardo Nam, Sonja Bennett, Fulvio Cecere, Robert Clarke, Bryan Greenberg



Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

In THE PERFECT SCORE, six actors several years too old for their parts play high school students suffering severe cases of SAT anxiety. I don't know what SAT scores these actors got in real life, but their acting scores in this film are very low. The actors' penchant for mumbling their lines is made worse by the film's loud and oppressive music track.

The plot has Francesca (Scarlett Johansson), Anna (Erika Christensen), Kyle (Chris Evans), Matty (Bryan Greenberg), Desmond (Darius Miles) and Roy (Leonardo Nam) deciding that they will steal the answers to the next SAT. Although each has their own reasons for this, the general motivation is so that they can get into their favorite college. One of them has a nightmare about a bum on the street with a placard that blames his destitute condition in life to poor results on his SAT.

The characters are stereotypes and completely unbelievable. Anna, for example, is the second best student in school -- although not the valedictorian, she keeps pointing out -- but her initial SAT score was low because she froze in the middle of the exam and couldn't do anything after that. What caused this major shutdown of her brain on such a key day? After reading a math word problem about a man and a woman boarding a train, her mind couldn't stop wondering about where these fictional people were going and why.

In a comedy that has only a couple of briefly funny episodes, the best -- which I'm told is in the trailers -- has the kids accidentally shredding rather than photocopying the pilfered answers when they first try to steal them. The other small laughs come from pratfalls, as Roy, the group's stoner/geek, keeps getting tripped by his baggy, beltless pants.

The way the group finally steals the test and how they use it is really, really ridiculous and a complete cop-out. No matter what you think about the rest of the movie, you'll be groaning about its awful ending.

THE PERFECT SCORE runs 1:33. The film is rated PG-13 for "language, sexual content and some drug references" and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave it ** 1/2. He said that the movie was nothing special but that it was fun and had funny characters.

Copyright 2004 Steve Rhodes

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