American High School. Wow. I was going to try and review this one, but I checked out when the cute Jillian Murray explains how unpopular she is. She walks up to a podium as two guys stay there and announce how boring she is. This film stretches the line of credibility in the first two minutes. And her explanations for how popular she is make no sense. Everybody loves her D-List celebrity dad? Yeah. That would make you unpopular? And she is in the running for prom queen.
The principal is followed around by a cadre of buxom blondes, because implying the principal has sexual relationships with his students is HIGH-sterical!!!! There is a school nurse named Nurse Doogie. And he tries to grope Murray. The father in the film is an asshole who tells his son that he told him to never call him dad. I think the filmmakers thought they were making a satire or parodyof teen sex movies, afterall, the art teacher wears lingerie and even takes her top off when students ask for inspiration.
But as a satire it lacks bite, and considering Not Another Teen Movie covered the ground more effective as parody, this seems pointless. And Mean Girls was a strong satire because it had commentary. Satire without commentary is a failure. Parody that is just a string of jokes is also not a real parody. Being outrageous just because you think it will make your film notorious? Isn’t effective film making. It is lazy. And if this film is anything? It is lazy.
I also note that nobody really shows much in the way of performance. The acting ranges from flat to over the top and flat. So, the acting does not elevate the bland script. And the film uses techniques and gimmicks that worked far better in earlier films (talking to the camera, freeze framing, on screen titles). And take a look at the trailer, while pushing the supposed over the top nature of the “comedy”? It tries to suggest there is a real story…
See? It is about poor choices, losing the things that matter most and so on. By the way, while the film makes a big deal about how unpopular Jillian is-the trailer calls her and her husband (yeah, the meat of the story is focused on married high schoolers) the most popular couple in school.
And then there is the PROM! Even pretending this is a parody, the idea of a prom with a bikini beach theme? Just stretches the limits of credibility and doesn’t work. The attempts at telling a story just fall apart, there is no emotion to make it work. Putting a ballad in the scene may be shorthand in films for “touching emotional moment”, but you need to have provided those things earlier in the film for those shorthands to work.