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Review: 'General Education' could use a class clown or three

Posted 5:29pm on Thursday, Sep. 06, 2012

PG-13 (sex references, drug-related gesture); 84 min.

If given the choice between actually going to class and seeing the high-school comedy General Education, go with school. No matter how dreary the text or uninspiring the teacher, it's bound to be better than this stubbornly unfunny movie.

The affable Chris Sheffield is Levi Collins, a high-school tennis player who failed a science class and needs to make it up in summer school. His college athletic scholarship depends on it. Of course, the summer session includes would-be wacky characters, like his tennis nemesis Chad (Tom Maden), as well as the attractive Katie (Maiara Walsh), with whom he has immediate chemistry.

The problem: If he misses more than one class, he flunks out and loses the scholarship. As expected, through a variety of contrivances, he has trouble getting to school every day.

Though there are a couple of chuckle-worthy sight gags -- including one involving tetherball -- there's little here worth mentioning, let alone remembering. It's as if writers Elliot Feld, Jaz Kalkat and Tom Morris (who also directed) think the mere presence of mimes and an effeminate gay man should provoke hilarity.

It's too bad because Sheffield and Walsh have screen presence and deserve better.

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-- Cary Darling

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