The imperfect movie

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!

The movie may appeal to dim-witted teens, says Reuters. The Houston Chronicle gives it a C- grade.

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  1. Alternate ending: He succeeds in getting into architecture school, and cheats his way through (especially in structural engineering class). He then sets up an architectural practice and finally designs his first major building. It collapses, killing his girlfriend (now wife), who was unfortunate enough to be in it at the time….

  2. jeff wright says:

    Yeah, like a kid who scores an honest 1020 on the SAT is going to cheat to get a 1430 and then somehow fool his profs at Cornell. I guess people really think the SAT has no relationship to intelligence. News flash: it does. I like David’s scenario, but I don’t think it’s a winner, although WRT the other kid, I’d sure cheat to avoid the alternative.

    Think I’ll pass on this movie.

  3. Insufficiently Sensitive says:

    Sorry David, but architects never take responsibility for the structural integrity of their buildings. Their licenses don’t permit it. They hire licensed structural engineers whose seal on the design plans gives them lifetime liability. Without passing their engineering classes AND doing responsible professional work under close supervision AND passing the State licensing examination (sure, go ahead, invent a scenario where all that can be merrily cheated throughout), the bullshit artists will never achieve that license.

  4. Insufficiently Sensitive,
    Just out of curiosity, do you believe that there are no architects who are totally without talent but they have worked their way through the system via cheating, connections, just generally working the system? I don’t know any architects so I am not offering an opinion either way but I have known people who cheated on the bar exam and the CPA exam and got away with it. Well, the guy who had someone take the CPA exam for him kind of succeeded. He hired someone who failed the test the first time and then he had his wife take the test for him the next time. She dressed as a man and was not caught until she had to go to the bathroom. She forgot and went to the women’s room.

  5. PJ/Maryland says:

    Ross (and IS),

    My dad was an architect, but I don’t know that much about the field. I know you have to be certified in whichever state you want to practice in, and only certified architects can sign off on building plans.

    Realistically, the bar exam is simply a way to keep the number of lawyers down; it has very little to do with being a good lawyer. I think the CPA exams (aren’t there like 6 of them or something?) are more job-related. Even so, you could probably pass them all (eventually) and still be a lousy CPA. My guess is that the architectural certification tests are more ike the CPA tests than the bar exam.

    At least your CPA friend isn’t a sexist in hiring people to cheat for him…

  6. I don’t think I would be able to suspend my disbelief that it’s even possible to cheat on the SAT in that way.

    And one of these kids is motivated by his desire to go to the same college as his girlfriend? OMG teenage drama!