THE PERFECT SCORE | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The concept is so wacky, at first I thought this film from Brian Robbins (Ready to Rumble) might be a welcome parody: Two affluent white teen-age guys think the SAT test is so unfair -- to them -- that they decide to steal the answers. It seems that the frantic achievement-culture of today's kids (and their pushy parents) has got even the privileged classes freaked. But in case you can't drum up any sympathy for two nascent frat buddies, Perfect Score serves up a Breakfast Club of SAT-robbin' cohorts: current it-ingenue Scarlett Johansson slumming as a screwed-up rich femi-hottie; smartest girl in school (yeah, stumped me too); and two marginalized people of color, the underachieving basketball star and the super-stoned Asian geek ("Dude. What. Whoa."). They break into the conveniently nearby testing HQ -- my favorite thing in the film is this office that features a fill-in-the-bubbles decorating scheme. Standardized testing is ripe for skewering, yet this teen caper goes for tired lessons about respecting yourself when it should be bucking for comic anarchy. The kids are familiar stereotypes, the heist is quite pedestrian, and the film's conclusion so inevitable that you'll surely put your pencils down before even the first hour is up. One and a half

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