High School High (1996)

(On VHS, August 1999) This gets a failing grade for two reasons. One, this parody of high-school dramas isn’t very funny. Yes, there are chuckles; yes, some set-pieces are great; yes, the whole movie is fun. On the other hand, it’s not that funny if you’re not familiar with the source material, the material isn’t clever or unexpected and there is far too much plot for the various gags. The second failing of High School High is that despite everything, it thinks of itself as terribly funny. The biggest sin of the film is to actually allow long reaction shots to let the audience laugh. (There’s a gag, then a second-long shot of a character looking amused/puzzled/nauseous while -in theory- the audience laughs their heads off, then the movie continues) This, given the non-hilarious nature of most jokes, totally kills the pacing of the film and gives an air of unbearable pretentiousness to the whole movie. Oh well, at least Tia Carrere (and not a few young actresses) looks good, which is considerably more than what one can say about Jon Lovitz.

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