sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

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Kids in America

This US high-school movie looked appealing because of the "based on true events" blurb. Essentially, an amazingly young and pretty Principal (Julie Bowen, only weeks out of playing Cheerleaders in other HS movies, one would suspect, but apparently not; she's been in Lost recently) is a classic Bible-belt prude, only without the religious overtones, and is suspending students for the slightest transgressions:
  • A costume covered in condoms, to promote safe sex;
  • A piece of fiction in a private journal, that includes acts of violence;
And she's also running for Superintendent of Schools, apparently an elected post.

Student Gregory Smith protests against these suspensions, by performing a satirical version of the Hamlet To be or not to be monologue, as rewritten by fellow student Stephanie Sherrin, and finds himself suspended too. Both Smith and Sherrin are part of teacher Malik Yoba's creative arts class, wherein they're each proposing the topic for a group video. Rather than make a video, they are all galvanised by Smith (and his suspension) to begin guerrilla warfare against Bowen and her campaign for election.

It's very reminiscent of Pump Up The Volume though, as k says, a lot less angry. It makes a nice difference from the usual run of US High School movies, in that it's not about popularism, or a bet. There's a romance between Smith and Sherrin, of course, but we can allow that. Instead, it makes valid points about tolerance, free speech, grammar (in passing), and standing up for what you believe in. It was also the best of the particular block of movies I rented at the time.

And the true events? The two bullets above did happen. The fight back by the students is fictional.

Oh, and it's got Nicole Ritchie in it, but don't let that put you off - she's only in it as a secondary (or tertiary) character, and doesn't do much.
Tags: movies
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