High School Record Ben Wolfinsohn

High School Record Ben Wolfinsohn
Though he isn't exactly the star of High School Record, Caleb (Dean Spunt) is the character who resonates the most. One of several 17-year-old high school students in this ensemble mockumentary, Caleb is what Napoleon Dynamite might be like if he were a real person. A wannabe visionary behind several deeply unappealing television show ideas, his tone-deaf fashion sense is surpassed only by his vaguely unpleasant and self-satisfied personality in preventing him from being popular. Sabrina (Jenna Thornhill), his girlfriend, at one point tells him he's like Woody Allen "without the charm." Anyone who went to high school will recognize him immediately. Indeed, this 2005 indie, only belatedly receiving a DVD release, is surprisingly intriguing for following a group of teens that, with all their flaws and immaturities, pretty much come across like real teens. Aside from Caleb, we have Sabrina, unconventionally beautiful and often selfish and cruel, particularly to Caleb; Eddie (Bobby Sandoval), who likes to "race cars and fuck girls," a line he repeats in several flubbed takes to rapidly diminishing effect; Tomes (Maneesh Madahar), who's sweet but hopelessly inept, and whose ideal date involves a game of Mousetrap; and Erin (Jennifer Clavin), Eddie's sort-of girlfriend and the only really popular girl we see. The mockumentary conceit doesn't really work; it's hard to believe the characters would be so oblivious to the camera during some of the more emotional scenes, and I wish writer/director Ben Wolfinsohn hadn't turned some of the supporting characters into such broad caricatures, particularly an airy drama teacher and a highly disgruntled father. Still, these awkward teenagers are interesting company and more often than not their aimless little misadventures have the ring of truth. DVD extras are limited to deleted scenes and a trailer. (Factory 25)