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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Be yourself. You are enough.
Positive Role Models
Teacher is supportive and caring, listens to her students. Students from different backgrounds grow from hearing one another's struggles and form friendships outside normal high school cliques. But many also have problematic habits and attitudes.
The student group is diverse in terms of race, economics, gender, and sexuality, and none behave stereotypically.
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Violence & Scariness
Fistfight. References to abortion, death by suicide, terminal illness. Student threatens to blow up the school.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirtation. Talk about love and romantic entanglements.
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Strong language includes "ass," "bitch," "crap," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "s--t," "shut up," and several instances of "f--k." Middle-finger gesture. Students challenge their teacher and speak disrespectfully to the vice principal.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Students do bong hits and drink in school with no meaningful consequences. Teen takes prescription pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Class is an homage to The Breakfast Club, in which a diverse group of students find acceptance by sharing their secrets with one another. While there's still "an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal" among the six students who must attend Saturday school here, the characters aren't as stereotypical as those in The Breakfast Club. On the other hand, the script is no John Hughes-ian classic, and it's doubtful that teens will relate to or connect with the struggles of these high schoolers. Teen characters sneak bong hits, drink from a flask, and swear ("ass," "s--t," "f--k"). There's talk of abortion, suicide, foster care, and terminal illness, plus threats to shoot up the school and a fistfight. And, just as in many a 1980s teen film, parents are painted as the root of all problems, and kids speak disrespectfully to authority. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
When it comes to the elements of filmmaking, this drama fails every subject. It's a big reach to follow so closely in the footsteps of a generation-defining iconic classic, and writer-director Nicholas Celozzi doesn't pull it off. The premise -- six students must go to school on a Saturday to take their theater final -- is nonsensical. The reason why is never made clear, nor is it clear why the drama teacher gives them such an unusual assignment: Create a character, then pair up to improv a scene together.
The movie's title isn't kidding: Watching The Class can feel like sitting in a warm classroom listening to a droning instructor, especially when the students stand in front of the class to tell the others about the character they "invented." More than half of the teens just describe themselves. The film actually feels like it was written by a high school theater group, with each central character getting their "moment," an emotional monologue that looks ready-made for the actors to slap onto their sizzle reel. Unfortunately for the actors, their performances are undermined by loose editing and dizzying camera work. And while the characters have a certain familiarity -- including the "druggie" (Charlie Gillespie is '80s Matt Dillon meets Jeff Spicoli), the "beauty," the "richie," the "jock," and the "psycho" -- they have the charisma of a melting ice cube. Celozzi says the characters are based on the friends of his daughter (Juliette Celozzi, who plays Allie), but the dialogue seems more like a 50-year-old man's idea of how kids talk than how kids really talk. Yes, it's a kick to see Hall step into the vice principal role (and embody it so well!), but even fans of '80s teen films will find there's not much here for them either -- except for the new Debbie Gibson song that plays during the credits.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.