|The Perfect Score (2004)
Starring: Erika Christensen, Scarlett Johansson, Darius Miles
Director: Brian Robbins
It wouldn’t be a typical dead-of-winter season without the typical teen comedy full of stereotypes and weak jokes, but “The Perfect Score” still manages to shine in some moments before inevitably falling into an ugly rendition of “The Breakfast Club” by its final frame.
Regardless of what you do in high school, all colleges seem to care about are your SAT scores, one simple number that can define the rest of your life. Two best friends, Kyle (Chris Evans) and Matty (Bryan Greenberg), soon realize the only way they’ll conquer the SAT and get into the schools they want is to steal the answers to the exam. Kyle and Matty need some help to pull off their plan, though, so they recruit a group of four fellow students: an anti-establishment feminist, Francesca (Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson); Anna (Erika Christensen), the second in the class; basketball superstar Desmond (NBA high-flier Darius Miles); and formulaic stoner Roy (Leonardo Nam).
Most of the acting throughout the film is teen angst drabble, but Johansson and Nam provide two likeable characters that contribute more to the story than just the stereotypical figures they represent. Johansson is much too good for this level of filmmaking, but she does her part in creating the unique Francesca and is undoubtedly the key to the whole operation. Nam, a newcomer to the movie scene, is brilliant as the film’s narrator, Roy. Although he portrays a stoner, Roy is given much more depth and consideration than anyone else, proving late in the story that he is a lot smarter and idealistic than he is made out to be.
“The Perfect Score” may not require too much thinking from its audience, but it sets out to make a simple film, and in that regard it gets the job done. Teen comedies get little respect these days and MTV films even less, but if you’re looking for an enjoyable story about the stresses of adolescence, “The Perfect Score” may not be perfect, but it’s good enough.