Kids in America

Holden Donovan (Gregory Smith – The Patriot, Harriet the Spy) is expelled for speaking critically about his school, the way it is run and of Principal Weller (Julie Bowen – Happy Gilmore, An American Werewolf in Paris). He enlists the help of new girlfriend Charlotte (Stephanie Sherrin – Lenny the Wonder Dog) and friends Chuck (Chris Morris – first film), Katie (Caitlin Wachs – Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Thirteen Days), Emily (Emy Coligado – Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Dangerous), Walanda (Crystal Celeste Grant – The Wood), and Lawrence (Alex Anfanger – first film) to protest against the unfair treatment and also to stop Principal Weller in her bid to become state school superintendent. The students are all inspired by teacher Will Drucker (Malik Yoba – Cool Runnings, Cop Land) to fight against what they see as wrong.

What makes this film somewhat interesting is that it is based on true events; they even show some interview clips during the credits with the actual students who inspired the film. The film does mean well and is quite sweet, but it doesn't always reach its lofty goal of shedding light on the loss of freedom by all sectors of American society. Director Josh Stolberg (director of television's Sabrina: The Animated Series) is not at all subtle in his attempts to portray certain parts of society. His depiction of a female black activist, a gay male student and an Asian girl border on stereotypically racist. The over-the-top depictions are not necessary to make his point. Stolberg's intentions were probably to make a film that would empower the youth of today, but he has succeeded in making a film that is probably too heavy handed for them to even notice. You do have to give him props for trying, though and the MTV generation will probably enjoy the film.

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