“You want to know the truth about high school? You’ve got to break it down into its elements.” The first lines of the main character Bobby Funke, sophomore, Woodward and Bernstein wanna be gives you the basic premise of the movie. Funke wants to be an investigative reporter, he also wants to get into the Northwestern summer program but first he has to get something actually published in the school paper.
Give what seems at first to be a fluff piece on the student body president becomes deeper and more sinister when it’s found out that the completed SAT tests have been stolen. But as Funke get’s close to the answer he finds there isn’t just the simple answer he thought it was. To find out the complete truth he must navigate the different elements of the school and as Funke says, “Unfortunatley, at St. Donovan’s, the periodic table is more crooked than a case of scoliosis.”
I love how this feels like part comedic noir detective story part new millennium John Hughes film. Bruce Willis is scary funny as Principal Jared T. Kirkpatrick and Reece Thompson is very believable as the “newspaper dork” Bobby Funke. I don’t know if it’s a really accurate portrayal of how high schools are now but then John Hughes schools were never mine.