“The A-List” Movie Review

The A-List Movie Review

Sophie Parks, Staffer

Released in 2015, the “A-List” should never have aired for the common good of our society. Filmed at the one and only Lake Oswego High School, the Laker hallways are seen in a different – yet similar light. Starring C-rated actors, the movie runs a disturbing rollercoaster ride through teenage adolescence. The opening credits showcase the navy and white LO banner, later transitioning to a B-roll around the school and then cutting to students huddled around the iconic purple lockers. Teachers that strutted the halls were decked out in familiar Lake Oswego apparel and the cheer team was featured in their Laker uniforms. 

The writers of this movie were trying to go for a “Mean Girls” 2.0 approach, but it missed the basket by at least a mile. Essentially, the plot revolves around students competing for their ranking on their high school’s A-List – a list compiled of the most popular students based on the ratings of their peers. However, the movie does not just focus on the students, but also the struggling teachers. The principal is desperate to relive his glory days while the guidance counselor wants to simply create the memories she never made. Halfway through the movie, I left to go get a snack and when I came back, the main protagonist was running down the hallway naked. In short, the writers clearly were getting bored with their plot. 

A couple of anonymous movie reviews on IMDb featured titles such as “So bad it hurts” and “The Awful List.” Another notable commentator wrote that the main character’s “hair is so distracting I couldn’t even take him seriously. He and his ragtag group of misfits would hardly be considered popular in the real world. The acting overall was cringe worthy, character development awful and the whole plot is just ridiculous. Don’t waste your time.”

Any greater takeaways and thematic messages in this movie fell flat. There is potential for a liberating coming out scene around the star football player, but it’s then revealed that it was all just a prank to move up on the A-list. The friendship between the main character and the guidance counselor was initially supposed to portray a teen boy becoming friends with people outside of his typical high status crowd, while the counselor attempts to overcome her insecurities that carried with her from high school, but it ended up just making me uncomfortable. 

However, Lake Oswego students should not be discouraged by this trainwreck. We should hold our heads high knowing that a cinematic failure was filmed in the seats we learn in, the halls we roam and the stadiums we cheer in. Not many can say they attended a school that was the birthplace of a “movie [that] fails on all counts” (Common Sense Media film critic).