The Perfect Score
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The story takes place in Princeton, New Jersey which is, oddly enough, where you find the Princeton Testing Center that is the home of the SAT exam (SAT stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test but one of the running gags in this film is the effort to come up with a more appropriate meaning to the anagram). The first SAT exam of the year has come and gone and Kyle (Chris Evans) discovers his score is too low to get him into Cornell and Anna (Erika Christensen) can apparently forget about her parents' dream of Brown. The next exam is in two weeks and since getting smarter in a fortnight is not likely, stealing the exam sounds like a good idea. Kyle's friend Matty (Bryan Greenberg), already bound for Maryland, is willing to help and they approach Francesca (Scarlett Johansson), whose daddy happens to run PTC and can provide a way in. The final members of the group are Desmond (Darius Miles), a basketball star whose mom wants him to go to college, and Roy (Leonardo Nam), a stoner who is involved only because he knows about what is going on.Read more ›
To be perfectly honest, my wife and I liked The Perfect Score better than the other, far more highly rated, Scarlett Johansson movie Ghost World. Now, *that* movie was a steaming pile. Yet, it's considered quite good by critics and viewers alike. Go figure.
The Perfect Score is a more entertaining movie than Ghost World. The ensemble cast offers enough humor to keep the plot moving and the movie interesting. No, it's not the The Breakfast Club. But, frankly, The Breakfast Club isn't The Breakfast Club the way most of us remember it, anyway. That movie doesn't really hold up some 20 years on and, in fact, looks about as goofy as The Perfect Score in plot and execution. Actually, there were a few moments of genuine hilarity and near brilliance in The Perfect Score.
Scarlett sizzles as usual. She's a hottie with a lot of talent -- quite a rarity in Hollywood these days, where hotties rule whether they're talented or not.
But the other actors turned in nice performances, too.
I disagree with the Amazon editorial reviewer who wrote, "Still, only [Leonardo] Nam and Johansson (who, after Ghost World, Lost in Translation, and Girl with a Pearl Earring, is becoming a true movie star) stand out of the bland pack."
We thought the acting was pretty good from all performers, even NBA player Darius Miles who was wooden and somewhat disengaged, but no more so than Keanu Reeves -- and look where Reeves is these days: an A-list powerhouse.
The plot is thin. The entire movie is fluff. But it's well-made, entertaining fluff. In Scarlett's canon of movies, I'd rank this one ahead of a few others. It's worth watching and, I think, will keep you at least chuckling to the end.
Otherwise it falls into a slavish imitation of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, with a bit of HARRY AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE thrown in, redeemed by the presence of the divine Chris Evans, who makes every movie he's in an overwhelming visual and sensory experience, as though Aldous Huxley had released some pleasure-inducing "soma" gas into the ventilation system of the theater you're watching him in. Is he a real person, or actually a god come to earth to provide nirvana to the millions? Here he plays "Kyle," sort of a switch up for Chris in a way, as the thoughtful would-be architect who can't get good enough SAT scores to get himself into Cornell. ("Cornell University," the guidance counselor adds, just in case we were thinking it was Cornell Community College Kyle was aiming for.)
Chris has played characters called Jake, Adam, Ben, Bryan AND Ryan, Seth, Bryce and Johnny Storm, but Kyle is one of his best parts yet. A row of perfection, like clay ducks in a shooting gallery, each identical, all of them ideal.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting film - you'll recognize many of the cast members who went on to other notable efforts - especially Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Treetown
How did I miss this movie when it came out?
Great cast and important life lessons while being so funny!
Check it out!
Great movie. Funny and quick. Chris Evans is hot and there a couple of other good lookin guys too. Worth the rent and I'll probably buy it tooPublished 13 months ago by Debi
Being that this was an MTV movie, I was not expecting that much going on. However, it was much better than I anticipated. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lorraine Pezzella