The Perfect Score is a typical teen flick that can’t deal with the moral issues it pretends to raise, writes James Bowman. A group of students plots to steal the SAT exam so they can achieve their college ambitions.
The leader of the conspiracy is Kyle (Chris Evans), whose SAT score of 1020 suggests that his desire to attend Cornell to study architecture may be a trifle over-ambitious. He needs a 1430 on the re-test and plots with his friend Matty (Bryan Greenberg) to get it in the only way he thinks he can. Matty has just been told that his scores are too low for him to go to the University of Maryland, where his girlfriend is a student. If he is unable to join her there, he thinks his only alternative in life is to work for his father cleaning septic tanks.
. . . Of course we know everything will turn out all right. First the film sets up a series of false dichotomies, like Matty’s between Maryland or merde. Then it shows the kids giving their all to win on their own terms. Then, when the going gets rough, they all slap their foreheads and say, “Oh! They’re false dichotomies.” Duh!