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The Perfect Score (2004)

Voll gepunktet (Germany)

The S.A.T is hard to take. Its even harder to steal.

Directed by:

Brian Robbins

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 93 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: Germany, United States

According to Roy (Leonardo Nam), the co-conspirator and sporadic narrator of ‘The Perfect Score’, S.A.T. stands for “Suck Ass Test”. That’s as good an indication as any of the sort of comedy this is. In other words, it’s a not-very-funny one.

Of course, it also lets us in on the fact that Roy and his pals aren’t particularly great fans of the U.S. exam system, S.A.T. of course being the name of the big test which lets millions of schoolkids in on whether their futures lie as top academics or floor-moppers in Burger King. Apparently it’s not the fairest of systems (not being a product of American education I wouldn’t know, so won’t comment), and it’s something the film clearly aspires to making an issue out of. The only problem is, ‘The Perfect Score’ flunks.

Anyway, our featured bunch of college hopefuls – among them the likes of Erika Christensen, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson (how on Earth did they rope her into this??) – think they have a way of ensuring passes all round. Under cover of night, they’ll go to the Princeton Testing Centre, sneak past security, break in, and pinch the answers. It sounds only too easy – but, of course, things don’t quite work out that way. Shockerooney.

This MTV-produced flop-fest aspires to the sort of teen cult status attributed to the likes of ‘The Breakfast Club’ (which even bags a mention in the dialogue), but in reality fails even to attain mediocrity. The ill thought-out, wishy-washy attempts at comedy detract from any chance the audience might have of believing these kids are genuinely desperate enough to go through with their mini-heist. I’m not saying that making this film a comedy was a mistake, but in order to work it should have been blacker. Hell, being funny at all would have been a good start.

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It's Got: Matthew Lillard, reduced to what’s practically a cameo role. Well, even bad films can have their good points.

It Needs: Some last minute cramming – that’s how we did it in my day.

DVD Extras Commentary from Brian Robbins and writer mark Schwan, a trailer, and the standard “making of” featurette. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

10 Things I Hate About You, The Breakfast Club

Summary

A film about exams that tests us in all the wrong ways.

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