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‘Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life’ Movie Review

Kristen Pelzer, Writer

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The movie Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life speaks to the hierarchy of the school system. It is told through a student’s perspective and goes through the injustices of school. It mainly goes against how important standardized testing is to schools. Main character, Rafe, fights against his principal and the standardized test called BLAAR.

The movie tells the story of Rafe going to a new school after being kicked out of his old one. This school has a strict set of guidelines enforced by the Principal and his secretary. Throughout the movie, Rafe and his best friend anonymously break every rule in the handbook. Aside from breaking the rules, Rafe and his friend try to get the BLAAR cancelled. Both the BLAAR and the Principal are the two antagonists of the movie.

James Patterson wrote the book that the movie was based on. Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer, and Kara Holden wrote the movie. Chris Bowman also wrote Masterminds, The Wrong Brother, and Superbago. The writing was done very well. It stuck as close to the book as possibly and did a great job at incorporating comedy.

The music in the movie was amazing. Every song was modern and upbeat. Each song fit the situation, whether it was a montage or a sad scene. The song selection included songs like: Cake By the Ocean, HandClap, TubThumping, Blown, When We Were Young, Tonight, My House, etc. The final song played was Spirits. Spirits was played while Rafe said goodbye to his younger brother.

The movie held a side plot. The main characters little brother died from cancer. Throughout the movie Rafe talks to his best friend, who is later revealed as his brother. He talks to his brother when he is lonely. This plot gave the movie a more sentimental plot line to set aside from the constant jokes and laughter.

The acting was not very good. The movie was meant to be cheesy and upbeat but the acting could and should have been better. The main actors in the movie were all children and for many it was their first major movie. They did not do a good job of making it realistic. The acting needed to be realistic to set it aside from the comic part of the movie.

The movie is split between the realistic world and the world of Rafe’s comic book. The comic is Rafe’s lifeline. He threw himself into drawing when his brother died. Throughout the movie it switches between a comic view and a realistic view. The comic view is the world of Rafes fantasy life. The comics are the drawings in his comic books and he uses to talk to when he is lonely.

While the movie is a comedy it does play on realistic standpoints. In today’s world many schools rely too highly on standardized testing. It is too big of a deal in the world today. The movie is a rebellion against standardized testing and how pointless it is. The standardized test also put unnecessary stress on students. “About three quarters of psychologists from the state’s nearly 700 school districts said state tests are causing greater anxiety than local assessments”(Lohud) These tests are just one more things to pile onto students already full plate.

Director- Steve Carr

Writers- Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer, and Kara Holden

Stars- Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Alexa Nisenson, Andrew Daly, Thomas Barbusca, Rob Riggle,

Rating- PG

Year Filmed- 2016

Running Time- 1 hour 32 minutes

Genre- Comedy, Fantasy, Fiction

Source: http://www.lohud.com/story/news/education/2015/11/20/common-core-anxiety/76114566/

 

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‘Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life’ Movie Review