Published Dec 01, 2003The Perfect Score is a bad movie, and it's not even a good bad movie. It's boring and obvious, with cardboard cut-out characters, awful dialogue and some mushy feel-good values tacked on.
The premise is that six high school students conspire to steal the S.A.T. answers so that they can make their higher education dreams come true. The group includes a brain, a jock, a stoner, a freak... well, you get the picture. The film steals liberally from much better teen fare and does it poorly. The characters lack personality, coming across as stereotypes, punch lines, or leaving no impression whatsoever.
The only vaguely interesting thing about it is its diatribe against the evils of standardised testing, which is hardly original but at least it's something. Unfortunately, even that is dropped halfway through in favour of some seriously nauseating life lessons. The writing is incredibly annoying, with unfunny jokes (including incessant plays on the acronym for S.A.T.), unnecessary voiceover narration and moments of cloying earnestness. The acting is mediocre at best, with leads Erika Christensen (Traffic) and Kyle Evans (Not Another Teen Movie) vying to out-bland each other.
Who knows what indie princess Scarlett Johansson is doing slumming in this Hollywood pabulum, but you sure can see her cred slipping away as the movie drags on. (Paramount)