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Kids in America

| Friday, Oct. 21, 2005

"Kids in America" says that the empowerment of student protesters can result in changing the world for the better. But because the stereotypical high-school students involved here are immature anarchists whose ideals are questionable and whose behavior is worse, the empowerment of them is of dubious merit.

Led by such activists as Holden Donovan (Gregory Smith) and Charlotte Pratt (Stephanie Sherrin), the students focus their rebellion against hypocritical Principal Donna Weller (Julie Bower), who wants to be state school superintendent.

But Donna is such a flagrantly ambitious monster that the film becomes a live-action cartoon populated by annoying caricatures.

It spoofs other movies ("16 Candles," "Lady and the Tramp"), including the cliche of teen girls in a slo-mo strut down a school corridor, but it's hardly superior to what it kids.

Performances have that "everything is scripted, memorized and blurted out" quality. And all parents are either subversive or outrageous, a facile way of indicating that the film's teens deserve to triumph. Uh, not so fast there.

In wide release. Additional Information:

Details

'Kids in America'

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, mature thematic elements and language

Two stars

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