‘The Class’ is a poor excuse for a coming of age film

A failed attempt at creating a modern rendition of ‘The Breakfast Club’


“The Class” takes six students from different backgrounds and brings them together through theater arts.
Rating: D
Art Credit: Brainstorm Media

Carmen Ruiz

Failing a test is bad enough, especially if that test determines your ability to graduate. Add in a teacher who is determined to take students on a self-actualization journey through the use of the performing arts and you have the basic plot of “The Class.”
Viewers follow Ms. Miranda (Debbie Gibson), the acting instructor for Drama 101, and six high school seniors who have failed their acting finals. They all arrive on the school campus on a Saturday for the opportunity to retake their exams and graduate. The cast is made up of stereotypical high school roles such as jocks, delinquents, and popular girls.
The plot of the film focuses on how acting lessons can be used to find the character’s true selves, but Ms. Miranda always discredits her students’ experiences. She constantly tells them not to let the hardships they have experienced stop their discovery and she then contradicts herself by saying that the problems of the world make students who they are.
From the way the movie was promoted, it felt like the conflict in this film would be between the characters and their struggles in life, but Mr. Faulk (Anthony Michael Hall), the school’s vice-principal, is made to be the main problem in the movie. It is a weird plot line to see him try and sabotage students all because he was asked to spend his Saturday overseeing exams.

Moreover, the over-exaggeration of stereotypes makes the film cringe-worthy at times. It depends on the students hating each other and constantly butting heads, but this hatred seems out of place given that the characters had only met for the first time earlier that day. For example, Allie (Juliette Celozzi), the straight-A student, and Michael (Michael Sebastian), the delinquent, constantly bicker in general, which gets repetitive.
Despite the more lighthearted tone, the movie does tackle heavier topics like drug use, discrimination, and suicide. There were some heartfelt moments between the characters that added some depth to the plot line and made the movie more bearable.
In the end, almost every single movie set in a high school is unrealistic, but “The Class” takes it to a whole new level and left me feeling like over an hour of my life had been wasted. “The Class” feels like a film you would put on when you just want some background noise for cleaning the house. I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone I know.