Who's in It:
Gregory Smith, Stephanie Sherrin, Julie Bowen, Malik Yoba, Nicole Richie
The Basics: Disgruntled suburban teens protest their oppressive school's lack of free expression.
What's the Deal? Oh, for another Molly Ringwald cameo, like the one at the end of Not Another Teen Movie, where she laid down the law about what's wrong with kids in movies today. Maybe she could tidy up this one, too. It's about a miraculously diverse yet cohesive group of high-school stereotypes — sassy black girl, effeminate gay kid, horny geek — all fed up with their ultraconservative principal's ban on controversy. But their rebellion is so polite it makes Gandhi look like a brick-throwing anarchist.
It's Got Lots of Symbolic Names and Stuff; That Means It's Deep: The main rabble rouser is named Holden. He's misunderstood. Richie's cranky cheerleader character's last name is Stepford. Ooooooh.
Mortgages in Southern California Are Really Steep: They'll say they came for the script, which really does have its heart in the right place — any movie that disses the Patriot Act isn't all bad — but it seems that Adam Arkin, George Wendt, Rosanna Arquette and Elizabeth Perkins are here just to collect a check.
What Does It Rip Off? Everything from Heathers to Hughes to Reservoir Dogs. A fine should be collected every time a movie like this does that stupid slow-motion walking-toward-the-camera thing. Tarantino himself ripped that off from his beloved Hong Kong action movies.
A for Effort: It's dull, obvious and full of itself, but at least it allows misfits, however clichéd they are, to be heard in the teen-movie context. And the same-sex make-out protest moment alone will make it a rallying-cry movie for gay teenagers when it eventually makes its way to its rightful home: cable.