Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
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A mutant hybrid of a heist movie and The Breakfast Club, The Perfect Score follows a clutch of kids who steal the answers to an upcoming SAT test: An aspiring architect (Chris Evans) who isn't quite achieving his dreams (o... more »
Scarlett Johansson is good
J. Rogers | Ohio | 03/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a Scarlett Johansson fan and that is why I bought the movie and she did not disappoint me. This is much better than her performance in the Spider thriller/comedy movie. But this movie suffers from a script that was not thought all the way though and it needed more work on it before they went to production. Still, this is one of the first movies where Scarlett starts to show herself as a superstar. In fact she actually does a little bit of acting, rather then to just have that reflective lost in translation look on her face."
Could stealing the SAT be easier than taking the SAT?
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No, I do not remember my SAT score, but I have taught enough high school students terrorized by the thought of how a four digit number could totally ruin their lives (i.e., deny them the college of their dreams) to realize that this is a tender subject. Which is why it is nice to report that "The Perfect Score" does take things seriously at the same time it is having fun with the paranoia. I might not be able to answer any of the SAT questions that pop up during the movie, but I do know that the screenplay by Mark Schwahn (creator of "One Tree Hill"), Marc Hyman ("Osmosis Jones") and Jon Zack ("Out Cold") is a lot better than I would have thought for a movie like this 2004 comedy.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. Now, in the real world stealing one SAT exam does not do you any good because there are several versions, so the person sitting next to you can have different questions or the questions are in a different order (or both). But that is besides the point in "The Perfect Score" and I ended up liking this movie a lot more than I thought I would for three reasons. The first I cannot tell you about because it would spoil the movie, but it has to do with an interesting twist on expectations. The second is the character of Desmond's mother (Tyra Ferrell), who has an impact on more than just her son. This film plays a lot with the stereotypes, from class brain to dumb jock to stoner, and I like the way Desmond's mother fits into that mold as well. The third is that this film comes up with a really, really great line about why not to be scared about the questions on the SAT, spoken, of course, by the most ironic character in the mix."The Perfect Score" is an enjoyable little caper comedy that certainly exceeds expectations, which is not a bad recommendation given most teen comedies today. The characters manage to avoid being stupid, a standard pitfall in the genre, although I suspect there are those who will be disappointed with the way things get resolved at the end. I also think it was nice that if Scarlett Johansson could not get an Oscar nomination for either "Lost in Translation" or "Girl With a PEarl Earring" then at least she got to do a decent "Matrix" takeoff in this film. Plus it was interesting to see Darius Miles who went to the pros instead of attending St. Johns University play a character who does the opposite, although it is ironic to see Mike Jarvis play himself since he had been fired from the St. Johns post by the time "The Perfect Score" was released."
Good Showcase for Chris
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 08/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The film is all about the SATs and I'm surprised that ETS allowed them to make it. Certainly it makes ETS look like a company with a bunch of nitwits running it, and in addition shows that they have lousy security and any bunch of six random idiot teens could break in and get all of the answers to any particular SAT exam. Was product placement so important to ETS that they let the filmmakers run down their whole organization in this way? This is not even to mention the gfeneralized, pervasive indictment of the whole SAT system that the Scarlett Johansson character, Francesca, spouts throughout the whole movie and which is, indeed, the movie's most interesting selling point. It's like the FAHRENHEIT 911 of standardized testing.
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."
I would prefer to actualy take the SAT than watch this...
SaraShaw | Boston, Massachusetts | 08/15/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is a bad movie. Most of the actors can't act, and the "stoner" is quite possibly the most annoying character / actor ever created on film. Oh what a TV movie ending... 2 hours of my life watching the kids try to steal the SAT answers and in the end..they chicken out? Wow, gutless wonders and a jip to anyone that agreed with the sentiments echoed early in the film about the SAT. A movie that lacks the courage of its own convictions. That is ABC afternoon special territory.
When this movie started and I realized that one of the kid's dad owned the building that ETS was in I thought... well this movie will be over fast. But 2 hours later, even with keys to the building, these kids can't get the SAT answers, I realized why they SHOULD go to 2nd tier schools. They obviously aren't that bright.
There was a much better story on this subject a few years back called "Cheaters" which was based on a true story. Don't waste your time on this."