Strong performances by this film's teen cast and a moralistic twist ending isn't quite enough to make this tour of cynicism worth your time.
Yes, Honor learns her lesson in Honor Society, as you suspect she will once she starts meddling in people's lives ... and it turns out that they like the changes.
But her nastiness, arrogance, and sarcasm for the first large chunk of the film is a total turnoff.
The fact that she's talking to the camera, an excessively trendy technique that doesn't feel very original or clever anymore, suggests we are "in" on her plans. Unfortunately, the inside of her head isn't a nice place to be.
Channeling an Election-era Reese Witherspoon, Australian Rice (Senior Year) hits all the right notes, as does her co-star, Stranger Things' Matarazzo. The problem is that if these characters are believable, we're in trouble.
You can't help but wonder what the adult scriptwriter thinks of teens today to craft this film, particularly the female lead's self-serving exploitation of her own sexuality and her willingness to slip drugs into people's drinks.
True, the film almost saves itself with an ending that involves a deserved comeuppance, the discovery of genuine friendships (at last!), and a glorious snippet of a musical. You'll leave feeling somewhat cleansed of the earlier nastiness, but it still lingers.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Images courtesy of Paramount+.