If you follow me on Twitter, you know I love to rent movies On Demand that sound awful. Today, I rented what was titled ‘Sophomore,’ on the menu, but, according to the credits, is called Assassination of a High School President. I knew I was in for something, since changing movie titles are almost always a sign of a terrible movie.
IMDb plot summary:
At a Catholic high school, the popular girl teams up with a sophomore newspaper reporter to investigate a case of stolen SAT exams. Once the duo target their suspects, a larger conspiracy is unearthed.
Minutes in, I realized this was a movie so awful, I needed to share it with you.
Here is the recap… obviously, this contains SPOILERS.
We start the movie with a shot of a teenage boy looking at a chalkboard, which is covered in psychotic etchings worthy of A Beautiful Mind.
You want to know the truth about high school? You’ve got to break it down into its elements. Unfortunately, at St. Donovan’s, the periodic table is more crooked than a case of Scoliosis. Just give me the chance and I’ll set it all straight. Case in point, Spanish homework. “Dame un batido de esperma” does not mean, “Take me to the airport.” It means, “Give me a sperm milkshake.” And 22 kids gave that as an answer in Spanish 3 last week. I’m not sure about the milkshake, but somebody is sure feeding us something sticky. Every clique on campus is copying the same damn homework. Burn-outs, pretty boys, drama-dorks, jocks, debaters, player-haters, you name it. Oh, it’s big, all right. And I’m on it like pink rubber bands on your little sister’s braces. The name’s Bobby Funke. I write for the paper.
This is all done in a hilarious ’20s noir-meets-rap music video style that is, apparently, not a joke.
Question: how does he know what other kids write on their tests, unless the teacher said something? And if the teacher did inform the class, he is obviously on the case. Also? Who the fuck cares?
We see he has just said all of his narration in front of a group of schoolmates- who immediately remind him he does not work for the paper, and ask him “aren’t you the freshman they tied to the snowman penis?”
“Sophomore,” he corrects. Being tied to a snowman penis sounds like an awful ordeal. I just had to wait for a car in 30 degree weather for two minutes, and it felt like torture. Add sexual harassment in the mix, and you have at least two months’ therapy. Or pnumenonia.
We then learn that the kids he is speaking to work for the paper, so they know he’s totally bullshitting. Wait, so… what? He just introduced himself as working for the school paper… to the staff of the school paper? Another note- I worked for the school paper in middle school, and I don’t remember having to perform a monologue to join.
Melonie Diaz tells him he has no facts, so there is no story. She tells “Bobby” (the audience,) that he wrote a few articles, but never finished them. I don’t remember anyone mentioning that Bobby has amnesia. Maybe the snow penis froze the memory part of his brain.
He asks her if he could take her to Homecoming instead. She is none too eager. He narrates, saying “Clara was one tough cookie. All I wanted was a taste.” He walks away. Charming.
Bobby Funke is alone in the cafeteria pondering Nietzsche. No, seriously. To quote: “Ten bucks says Nietzsche never got a swirly.” Bobby is, in case you can’t tell- which would be totally understandable- a nebbishy nerd, rather than an obnoxious asshole, which is exactly what he sounds like.
I should also add that, according to Bobby, his last name is pronounced “funk,” and the e is silent. If you can’t remember, don’t worry. This comes up about once every seven minutes.
Clara approaches him. She says she is sorry for “what went down,” and that she somehow knows he wants to get into the Blah Blah program at Yadda Yadda University. She says she has an assignment for him. (Bobby: “Take you to Homecoming?”)
She tells him she already has a date, and they have this exchange:
Bobby: You’re probably going with Tad, aren’t you? You know what Tad stands for?
Bobby: No. Vagina.
I kid you not.
Carla tells Bobby she wants him to do a story on the student body president. He looks like he was just asked to interview Obama. Carla reminds him she needs the article to be on paper, which is always helpful.
He then narrates about said Blah Blah program, which, for the sake of clarity, is at Northwestern University. He says he wants to write for newspapers. Really? You want to write for newspapers for a living, but couldn’t finish your assignments for the school paper? He fills out an application for Northwestern during a class period.
Thanks to my pause button, I learn that, under “state why you are interested,” he wrote “I want to be the best journalist in the world.”
The curly-haired kid sitting behind him in class demands a piece of loose leaf. “GIVE ME A PIECE OF LOOSE LEAF, FUNKE!” Curly pronounces Bobby’s last name as “funky,” which Bobby corrects. Curly demands a pen, practically foaming at the mouth. Bobby whines, “what happened to the other pen I gave you?” I am sure this is all very relevant to the plot. Also, I admittedly did not attend a private school, but I find it hard to believe a bully would use the word “looseleaf.”
We then get a shot of the “door”- a beaded curtain with the image of the Virgin Mary on it. It is in yellow, green and red.
A young Mischa Barton gets a slo-mo entrance, and Bobby’s narration fills us in. Her name is apparently Francesca Fachini, which I don’t buy. She looks like a Francesca almost as much as Hilary Duff looks like a Shasta. Fuck that. I’m calling her Mischa.
Mischa is, amongst other things, the school president’s girlfriend. Bobby narrates that he wants to interview her for the paper- once he gets some testicles (his words, not mine.)
Bobby interviews Paul Moore, the school president. He is juiced-up meathead worthy of Jersey Shore, and looks about 37. He pumps some iron. Bobby asks him for his social security number, which he refuses to give. The fuck?
In the locker room, Bobby asks Paul how he plans to fix the drop in SAT scores. Call me crazy, but isn’t that the job of, like… teachers? Paul grins, and asks “well, what would you have me do about it?” He’s supposed to be a dim bulb jock type, obviously, which makes me wonder why he would want to run for student president, anyway.
The camera jumps to a wide shot, and… Bobby is interviewing Paul in the shower. I’m pretty sure this is not played for laughs. Paul rambles on like a guido, and Bobby looks at him in disbelief. Behind him, the Spanish teacher sings Spanish opera while scrubbing his chest hair. This is played for laughs. He calls Bobby “Senor Funky.” Bobby, who was wearing a suit for the interview, walks out of the shower. Cue narration.
After thirty minutes in the shower, one thing was clear. Paul was all length… and no depth.
Bobby is sitting in a booth, next to the guy announcing a basketball game. It is the curly-haired kid from before, who, we also learn is Tad. You remember him, right? Tad, short for Vagina?
“How could he not give you a lot?” Ted asks about the interview with Paul. He looks at Paul as he plays basketball on the court. “Look at him- he’s like JFK. People love him. He’s smart, he’s charasmatic, he’s good-looking. He’s a tenacious athlete!” Did you get all of that, audience?
The game goes on break, and the coach yells at Paul and his pooka shell necklace, saying he “looks like a Thanksgiving dinner [he] barfed last year” on the field. I take that to mean he ate, and barfed, multiple Thanksgiving dinners the previous year. More awful dialogue. Summary: the basketball team isn’t doing so great.
Bobby goes out to get a soda from the vending machine. Three dudes walk by him, and he eagerly introduces himself as a writer for the paper, and asks for an interview. They pin him against the door. One of them tells Bobby to go fuck himself. Another looks “intimidating” while a lollipop dangles from his mouth. He jams a pencil into the door, next to Bobby.
Bobby narrates: the three dudes are important members of the school council. One is named Marlon Piazza, and is Mischa’s step-brother. The other is Matt Mullen, a hall monitor and noted date rapist. He is also the one who told him to go fuck himself, which adds even more insult to the quip- rapists rarely tell you to fuck anyone but themselves. The third is Marty Mullen, the one who shoved the pencil into the door. He also has an additional pencil behind his ear, which I don’t get. Why does he need a pencil at a basketball game? Furthermore, why does he need two pencils at a basketball game? To add further douchiness, his collar is popped. According to Bobby, Marty is a former child underwear model.
As Bobby walks back in the BB court- notably without a can of soda- the crowd goes “oooh.” Paul was injured in the game, and is clutching his knee.
“The basketball game wasn’t all we lost that night,” Bobby narrates wistfully. I imagine this means they all lost their V-cards. “Like Watergate, a thief snuck in and stole our innocence.” That sounds more like rape. Maybe Matt Mullen joined the orgy?
Before we learn whether or not he is speaking metaphorically, the camera zooms in the principal’s office- where none other than Bruce Willis is looking through a filing cabinet. He asks his secretary what kind of “effin A-hole” would do “this.” She says she doesn’t know.
“Bring me the list,” Bruce Willis says ominously.
Bobby narrates again. Summary: when shit goes down at St. Donovan’s, the principal always brings in the same group. Today, however, a new name was added to the list. A name that is hilariously mispronounced, yet again, as “Bobby Funky.” He corrects them. Never gets old.
Bobby stands, waiting to be called in, with four other guys- the Mullen brothers, Tad, and a third guy. The third guy has a heavy Italian accent and asks Bobby ridiculous questions about anal sex and his face. It’s too stupid to recap.
Bruce Willis finally walks over to them. “I assume you all know why you’re here,” he says. Right on cue, an OMG TOTALI PUNK RAWWK girl walks in, and snarks, “let me guess- you finally decided to start that boy band you’ve been dreaming about.” She smiles sarcastically at Bruce Willis, and following words come out of his mouth:
Landis, do I go to the strip club where you work, and knock the dick out of your mouth?
A lovely line, without a doubt, but the way he emphasizes it makes it sound like she just did that exact same thing to him- that, or he is metaphorically calling his office a strip club.
The girl- who we later learn is named Sam Landis- is told to join the group. Bobby tells Bruce Willis he actually has no clue why he was called in, and something incredible beyond words happens.
“REALLY?” Bruce Willis yells with a crazy look in his eyes. He then grabs Bobby’s face and sticks his finger into his mouth. Let that sink in for a moment.
He pulls out a wad of gum from Bobby’s mouth. “THIS. IS. WHY. YOU’RE. HERE. You’ve got a gum problem.” Seriously, I wish I could show you this clip. It’s… amazing.
Bruce Willis calms down. “I don’t like gum,” he says. No kidding. “I don’t like you snooping around.” Those are two completely unrelated thoughts, but he manages to make it seem like gum is some sort of gateway drug to snooping- in which case, I wonder if Nancy Drew’s parents have a law suit against Wrigley’s on their hands.
“You’re all filth.” He continues. He then rambles on about how rich his students are, the state of the world, the weather in Tahiti… finally, we get to the point- during the basketball game the night before, somebody snuck into his office and stole the SATs.
“Whoever it is, don’t turn yourself in.” Says Bruce Willis. You see, he wants to have the pleasure of taking them down himself. Also, he fought in the war, and took down people who partake in “camel-humping.” He dismisses the group, but not before teaching them how to say “don’t shoot” in Arabic.
Bobby goes to the mens’ room. On two mirrors, there is a message. In case you’re expecting a cryptic, Pretty Little Liars-esque clue to the upcoming mystery, think again. It says: “SPECIAL ED NECK EXERCISE. SEE OTHER MIRROR.” Bobby actually falls for it, looking back and forth at the mirrors. As he does so, Mischa comes out of a stall.
He says hello to her, and she says hello as well, calling him “Funky.” Understandably, instead of wasting his time correcting her, he asks her what she is doing in the mens’ room.
“Well, I thought I might find a man in here.” Mischa Barton tries to make this sound seductive, but her signature robot talk isn’t all that sexy. She leans in. “Are you a man, Funky?”
He looks at her with arousal and confusion, and she starts laughing. “I’m screwing with you!” She continues, “I just need your help.”
So, wait, was she just waiting in the mens’ bathroom all day, hoping he’d come in? How the fuck do you hide to surprise someone when you’re not even sure if and when they’re going to be where you’re hiding? Does she get text messages from his bladder or something?
She goes on to say she needs help finding whoever stole the SATs.
“I aced that thing, I just know it.” I don’t buy it. It’s pretty clear- either by the movie’s Casper transparent writing, or some multilayered “he-doesn’t-get-it-but-the-audience-does” acting on Mischa Barton’s part, that she’s going to end up a guilty party in whatever conspiracy he winds up investigating. “I need you to find those tests. I’ve got a feeling about you, Funky.” She then leaves the boys’ room, and is presumably spotted by a very confused teacher.
Bobby interrogates some guy, asking him where he was the night before. He holds two fingers up to Bobby’s nose, waits for him to sniff, and says “that’s where I was last night.” Okay, then.
Bobby interrogates Tad, who says he was playing bingo with his nana in the park. “I’ve got thirty fucking geriatrics who can back that up.” Afterwards, Bobby narrates that he followed Sam Landis, and discovered her secret after school activity- ice skating. Bobby is inexplicably- and impossibly-carrying a suitcase while standing on the ice rink in sneakers. Sam doesn’t know anything worthwhile. Accent Guy is welding what looks like some Medieval weapon. He says he was busted for possession that night.
Bobby gets a slo-mo walking scene to some rock. He says he thinks it might be a good kid who is responsible for the break in- that he is looking at things all wrong. So, a good kid, huh? You mean like Mischa Barton? Come on, Bobby. Think.
I know the writers haven’t.
Bruce Willis pops up out of nowhere. He whispers creepily, “You know what scares me, Funky? Justice. Because it’s everywhere.” Classic. Someone please get that tattoo immediately, complete with Bruce Willis and a speech bubble. And send me pics. I swear to God, I will donate money to that tattoo fund.
Bruce says he “knows” Bobby is somehow involved in the SAT theft. “I’m watching you, Funky. With both eyes. They’re open.” Poetry. He continues, “you bleed, Funky. We all bleed.”
“Thank you, sir.” Bobby says, and walks away. Can I just say I love every line Bruce Willis has in this movie? He sounds like a stoner in college crossed with a Bond villain crossed with Voldemort, as written by a 14-year-old fan fiction writer.
At a meeting, Clara asks where the Paul Moore story is. Bobby’s eyes glaze over and he narrates:
Paul Moore was a good kid… maybe his bum knee wasn’t all bad. Maybe my puff piece was no pastry.
Bobby interviews the ditzy school nurse. We learn nothing, except that she left Paul alone to buy a gyro. Bobby asks more questions, but she just keeps talking about Greek food. She seems stoned, and, by the way she says it, I suspect “getting a gyro” is code for something. Live having sex with Paul. Her friend in the office reacts when she asks him about her “Greek food trips.” She is played by the Cold Case chick, who looks much younger here, and whose red lipstick cues me in to the fact we’re supposed think she’s a hot nurse.
Cut to the basketball coach ordering a foot long on the phone: “I’ve got one, and I want one. That’s a double entendre.” Coach tells Bobby that grades aren’t Paul’s strong suit, but he has a strong drive.
Speaking of driving… cut to Bobby riding a bike. He says he doesn’t have his license yet, which cues a montage of failed driving tests.
Bobby arrives at a carnival, where he is meeting a secret source for information- it turns out to be Paul’s 11-year-old sister, who agrees to spill some secrets in exchange for a unicorn. A stuffed one, that is.
Cut to Paul in the locker room/showers, in a towel, screaming at some guy for using his shampoo. He threatens to “have his ass deported” if he does it again. Except the other dude is black, not Mexican, so it’s not racist. He walks over to the lockers, drops the towel, and sees that two guys are waiting for him. He turns to them and we get to look at Paul’s ass. “You fellas here for the cock fight?” He asks, which I assume to be a euphemism, because they’re looking at his dick. However, the showers are covered with honest-to-god wire fences, so I can’t help but consider the alternative.
Bobby walks in the hallway, where every single student is reading the school newspaper, in which his story about Paul is published. A preppy white guy with dreads tells Bobby his story is going to… insert some asinine ghetto-meets-blue blood slang for “be awesome.” Bobby walks further down the hallway, and every student is reading the newspaper. Why? Unless they leaked naked pictures of the school nurse, I doubt anyone would be that interested. Not to mention that they are all simultaneously interested. But now I’m nit-picking.
Yelling off screen: “I didn’t do anything! I’m the fucking president. I’m Paul Moore. I’m the president. I’m Paul Moore!” If you can’t guess who’s screaming that, go to bed.
Bruce Willis, along with the cock fight dudes, escort Paul to his locker, even though Paul is naked, save for a towel around his waist. Bruce tells him to open it. The locker, I mean. When he does, all the SATs fall out. Paul stutters, insisting he has no clue how they got in there. Paul then refers to himself in the third person, and then belittles himself. “Those aren’t Paul Moore’s! I’m a patsy!”
Bobby reads the last line of his article in front of the paper staff. “My name is Bobby Funke. I work for the school paper.” He adds, dramatically. Everyone applauds. Carla says she is submitting the article to Northwestern with her highest recommendation. Mischa Barton then walks in, crooking her finger to Bobby, and he follows her out.
“I want to thank you for finding the SATs… and showing me what a douche Paul really is.” So she didn’t know Paul was a douche? In two 45 second clips, we knew that. “See, I seem to have lost my date to Homecoming, and I was wondering if you would go with me.” She pauses. “Well, not like go go. Not for real.” Well, of course. Naturally. The most popular girl in school wouldn’t want to take him to Homecoming, unless she had an ulterior motive, like tying him to a snowman penis- and that’s already happened, so… they’re just going as friends. She then goes on, saying only losers are dateless, so he is the only one she can take. She doesn’t say this in a way that’s supposed to sound like an insult, but ouch. She tells him he’s the Wolf Blitzer of the school.
She tells him to pick her up at eight-and, seriously, is there any other time fictional people want to be picked up at? It’s always eight. She tells him to get a corsage with a pin- “I don’t mind a little prick once in a while.”
Bruce Willis announces over the PA that Marlon Piazza is the new school president.
Bobby goes to Mischa and Marlon’s house (am I wrong in thinking “Mischa and Marlon” sounds like an indie hipster band?) Marlon is on the couch, smoking, while a hot drunk girl lies on him. Bobby sits on a bean bag chair, waiting for Mischa, so he can take her to the dance. Bobby mentions Hot Drunk Girl got a perfect score on her SATs her freshman year. Marlon tells him he’ll let Bobby touch her tits for twenty bucks.
Bobby ignores this, and says it is interesting that he became school president. Marlon: “Kind of like how someone could go from being the biggest loser at school to taking the hottest girl at St. Donovan’s to homecoming.” Bobby is grossed out by this, because they are step-siblings. Me? I’m just wondering how Mischa Barton is the hottest girl in school. I’m not saying she isn’t pretty, and I’m definitely a proponent of natural beauty, but she is very unglam in this movie. Dark brown hair, minimal makeup. Besides, this is a teen movie- isn’t there a girl with implants on campus? In fact, Hot Drunk Girl is hotter than Mischa.
Mischa walks down the stairs in her gown- refreshingly, not in slo-mo, or even to music. Bobby walks her out.
Cut to Bobby, sitting alone, outside, at the dance. He has been ignored by Mischa all night. She walks up to him and apologizes, saying it is hard to get away from her friends. Zzzz…
They finally dance, and Mischa talks to him in a monotone identical to Paris Hilton’s. She asks if he thinks she’s a bitch. He says he used to, and basically gives her a yes. She more or less says that perception is reality, and that if he thinks she’s a bitch, it must be because she is on. He argues that Mischa is just misunderstood, to which she says:
Nobody’s misunderstood. That’s just what people say when they don’t like who they are.
Accent Guy and Finger Boy talk to Bobby about his apparent boner, and how to deal with it. The scene goes on way too long, with lines like “tuck that thing to the side,” and “don’t pee on your shirt.” It feels like a YouTube skit made by stoned 15-year-olds. Bruce Willis walks over to them, and says that “his boys” in the war often had conversations about erections. Lots of talking, a reference to Charlotte’s Web, and then he motions Bobby to stand up. Bruce thanks Bobby for finding the SATs, which he didn’t, and tucks a stick of gum into Bobby’s shirt pocket.
Bobby walks outside- why? To smoke the stick of gum?- and Paul shoves him to the ground. He calls Bobby a dick, and says he was not responsible for the theft. He says he already got into Cornell, then throws his acceptance letter at him. Yup, that’s why I always carry my acceptance letters in my pocket. Paul storms off, saying “you wouldn’t know the truth if it were staring you in the face!” Or dancing with you at Homecoming, amirite?
At school the next day, presumably full of Tad “Short for Vagina” sperm from the night before, Carla tells Bobby he got into the Northwestern program, but the article needs to be fact-checked by a Northwestern grad student as a formality. Bobby sticks Bruce Willis’s gum in his mouth and narrates that he is no longer confident with his facts.
He goes to the In-School Suspension room, which is, like the rest of this film, far from subtle. There is a single light in the room, and the film is suddenly filtered with a dark green color. There are electric sparks in the room behind them, and there are kids welding. We get it. Dangerous kids, gloomy place. Dear Lord.
Bobby talks to the guard- yes, really- who is wearing a Nazi arm band, except with the school crest, instead of, y’know, a swastika. He bribes the guard with a stick of gum, saying he needs to talk to “them.” Bobby sees a guy named Rocky, who is in trouble for writing ‘SADDAM WAS A CIA PUPPET’ on Bruce Willis’s Bronco. He then walks up to Paul- wait, what the fuck? The school board thinks he stole the SATS, and he isn’t expelled?- and tells him to give him his story. Paul leans in and tells Bobby that he rigged a few basketball games the year before. He says he “needed the money.” Bobby asks for some names, and Paul says, “THINK WITH YOUR HEAD.” Also, that the presidency is a tough job- “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE WANT A PIECE OF ME.” Armband Guard tells him to stop exciting “the animals,” and walks him old. As he backs out, Bobby asks for a name one last time, and Paul says “Bismark.” Armband Guard goes to put the stick of gum in his mouth, but Bobby grabs it while it is still dangling from Armband Guard’s teeth. Ew. One in four people have herpes, man.
On the PA, “Bobby Funky” is called to the office. He has a phonecall from the Northwestern grad student. He calls Bobby- you guessed it- “Bobby Funky,” and Bobby- you guessed it, corrects him. Grad Student, judging by his voice, is played by Peter Dinklage, but IMDb neither confirms nor denies this. I’ll call him Peter regardless. Peter tells Bobby he is in the process of fact-checking his Paul Moore article, and that it isn’t bad… but it isn’t good, either. Bobby’s offended by this, which proves he will do wonderfully in college, where all his articles will be criticized, graded, and torn apart. Bobby spots Bruce Willis through his office door, which is cracked open. He is sitting at his desk, and, judging by his face, he is either whacking off, getting a blowjob, or in immense pain. Just when I think Mischa Barton may be blowing him- which would give that one scene in Sixth Sense unfortunate implications- Bruce Willis pulls out a metal leg, sneaker and all.
Later, Sam is showing Bobby a study hall period in the library. Only the smart kids are there, and are all cramming nervously for the SATs. The results just came back, and many of the brains completely bombed the test. Sam looks like she is getting some sick pleasure from seeing them sweat. “Freaky, isn’t it?”
Bobby points out that one of the kids- who has a hilariously stereotypical Irish name- and says his teeth are chattering, and Sam tells him it is a side effect of the ADD medication he is taking. Bobby takes this to mean he has ADD, but Sam corrects him- she says most of the kids in the room are on some sort of ADD medication, and they’re using the pills for study aids. Sam says something about “supply and demand.”
Bobby looks at the yearbook section of the library, and narrates about some crap. A girl with an eyepatch tells him it’s called Study Hall, because he’s supposed to study, and basically implies he should leave. Because looking at books in the library is unheard of, and will never help with your studying. Bobby rips Bismark’s page from the yearbook. I have no idea why. My guess is that his Snow Penis Amnesia prevents him from recognizing a face hours after seeing it in a yearbook.
Okay, disclaimer: I have no clue what is going on in this next scene. It is just… out there. On an LSD level.
Bobby walks up to what looks like a frat house. The lawn is covered in tin cans- not as pollution… like, the entire lawn is covered in tin cans, standing upright. It’s a tin can lawn. There is opera music coming from the house, and this time it is not being sung by a naked Spanish teacher.
Bobby walks in, and the place looks like a museum- complete with a fire alarm. The room just right of the entrance is filled with teenage boys, who are wearing nothing but matching boxers, sucking their thumbs, and sitting like Indians in a chain. Bobby says he is looking for the “business,” or, I guess, “The Bis-ness.” The creepy thumb-sucking teens turn to him, almost in unison, and one points upwards with his thumb.
Bizmark is on the phone, yelling at someone, while watching three different sports games on three different screens. “I know it’s your Bar Mitzvah money, but you lost the bet,” he says coldly. So, yeah, Bismark takes bets from 13-year-old boys. He sighs, and signals Bobby to come forward, still talking on the phone. “Yes, I’ll take a check, but if it bounces, I’m coming after you.” He then utters one of my favorite non-Bruce Willis lines- “this is real stuff. You owe me twenty bucks.” Um… I made 500 times that at my Bat Mitzvah, first of all, and I’m pretty sure 13-year-olds can’t sign checks. Also, for reasons you will see later, it seems ludicrous that Bismark would worry about- or even take– a $20 bet.
Bismark hangs up the phone and tells Bobby he isn’t taking any more pledges for the semester. Bobby tells him he wants to talk to him about Paul Moore. Cut to Bismark and Bobby in the frat arcade, which features a fucking huge oil painting. This entire building looks like an abandonned museum, inhabited by frat boys. It’s just weird. Bismark talks to Bobby.
“Let me tell you something about Paul Moore- his name means nothing to me.” Sounds like a bad breakup, hmmm?
“I have kids on over half the teams in this district.” Paul throws a soda can on the floor, and out of nowhere, one of the thumbsuckers sprints over to the floor, grabs the can obediently, then sits stiffly in a chair. Also, the boxers I mentioned? No. They’re diapers. Meanwhile, what seems to be a business meeting is going on directly behind Thumbsucking Diaper Servant- who, by the way, is a 6′ 3″ black guy, and could probably beat Bismark, who is 5’7″ and chubby- and in front of Bobby and Paul playing foosball. This is just weird. Anyway, Bismark (whose first name is Frank, for those wondering,) continues: “Those pill-poppers are begging me to throw games! Do you think I have time? I wouldn’t have time to spend all the money that I make- and, as you can tell, I like to spend the money that I make. I mean, look around.” So he’s responsible for the building, and, therefore, has the taste of a 75-year-old European art collector? The huge oil painting, which looks Italian, is right behind the two of them, and is quite distracting. I really wish I could get screencaps of the hilarity here, but Bismark and Bobby are played by nobodies, so there are no fan sites with pictures to be found.
Bismark indicates the oil painting, and says the best thing ever: “I mean, this oil painting? It’s from the Sistine Chapel. That’s the first chapel ever!”
I had to pause the movie, for, like, ten minutes. I LOL’d… a lot. So Bismark, of the twenty dollar bets, owns a painting from the Sistine Chapel? The Sistine Chapel sold one of their priceless paintings to some 19-year-old kid in New Jersey for his frat house? To quote Cher Horowitz, I am so sure.
Bobby and Bismark are outside, and two of his Diaper Servant are holding him by the hands and feet and rocking him back and forth soothingly. I’m really glad this movie has decided to be funny, but if you’re going to be serious for the first forty minutes, spontaneously bizarre humor probably isn’t the way to go. Just sayin’.
Anyway, Bismark says that Paul needed to money because of “girl problems.” In the background, Diaper Servants can be seen through a window, holding hands and dancing in a circle. I wish this entire movie were about Bismark and his Diaper Servants. I wish this so badly. The two who were rocking Bismark back and forth throw him into a bush, and the scene ends.
The next day, Bobby meets up with a friend we have never seen or heard of before. They tease each other about pubes and tampon-eating. Unnamed Friend goes to another school, but apparently knows everything about everyone in St. Donovan’s- actually, who in this movie doesn’t, other than Bobby? He looks at Bobby’s article and recognizes Paul as “Valerie’s boyfriend.”
Valerie, who looks like she is 43, says she has no reason to incriminate Paul- they had something real. She says the Bismark money wasn’t anything significant. Valerie seems to be working in a nurse’s office. Is she the school nurse? What’s with Paul and school nurses?
Valerie seems to genuinely love Paul as a person, at the very least. Bobby asks her to help Paul by helping him. She opens up, saying she owed money to some very unpleasant people, who demanded to collect with interest. She couldn’t afford it, and Bismark told Paul that if he has two off nights, he could help Valerie. Valerie smiles and says Paul would have thrown the entire season if he knew it would help her. Are we supposed to like Paul or not? I am so sick of this game.
Bobby narrates that Valerie was a dead end and wonders what other secrets Paul is hiding. He walks over to the In-School Suspension room, but it is empty, without a guard, and the glass pane on the door is broken. Bobby goes to his homeroom period, but it is empty. Suddenly, live music plays. It is… Bruce Willis. He is singing about Desert Storm while putting on a concert for the entire school. Bruce wrote out the lyrics of the song and printed it out for all the students to sing, and they sing the chorus, which consists of the word “American.” Bobby sees Sam, and she explains what he should have known already- Bruce Willis cancelled AM classes for a pep rally. Cheerleaders do a dance to the song. This is all so weird.
Bobby sees Rocky walking in the hallway suspiciously. He then looks at the windows behind Bruce Willis, where Paul is on the roof with a gun. Bobby runs out, and the cheerleaders salute Bruce Willis. Marlon walks to the stage in slo-mo to ominous music. Crosshairs follow him. Bobby runs some more, trying to get to the roof. Why didn’t he just yell “look behind you, Bruce Willis, there is a guy with a gun?”
Just as Bobby opens the door to the roof, Paul shoots the gun. Marlon is covered in red stuff. Kids scream.
K, so now Bobby is inches away from the scene of the crime, making him a very obvious suspect, and when they ask him he’s going to say “I saw a gun, but didn’t think to tell anyone?”
One of the Armband Guards (I guess they’re part of a society?) asks Marlon if he is okay. Marlon rolls his eyes and tells him it was just a paintball. Some Armband guys get shot. Bruce Willis gets shot, and angrily rips off his sleeve. Paul goes to shoot Mischa, but Mischa glares at him through the window. Bobby runs up to Paul, and he… jumps off the roof. Right.
Bobby is in the nurse’s office- Horny Stoner Gyro nurse*, not Valerie. She tells him she wants some pretzels from the vending machine, and leaves. The nurse’s phone rings, and Bobby walks over and picks it up. It is Peter. How the fuck…?
*Almost written as “Horny Stoner Gyno nurse.”
Peter says he knows about Paul shooting up the school, and Bobby says he is doing additional work, looking for the facts. Peter accuses him of making the whole thing up, which makes no sense, since he somehow knows what happens at St. Donovan’s within seconds. Mischa walks into the nurse’s room and wipes some paint off her thigh.
Bobby hangs up the phone, and sits next to Mischa. She thanks him for saving her life- he says it was just a paintball gun, but Mischa says he didn’t know that at the time. Bobby tries to tell Mischa that Paul is responsible for the shooting, but she kisses him while he forms the words.
Bruce Willis leaves campus to some guitar riffs. He looks like a BAMF with his beige suit that is missing an entire sleeve. Paul is being put in handcuffs. “Nice shooting, Mr. Moore. Three inches to the left, and you would have had a kill shot on me.” Paul looks at Bruce and says: “You got this all wrong. I didn’t steal the SATs.” I… don’t think that’s what Bruce is talking about right now, Paul. He screams “THIS PLACE SUCKS!” before getting in the cop car. Bruce smirks and says, “Oh, you’ll be sucking soon enough, Mr. Moore.” Hah, prison rape.
But really, Bruce Willis makes this movie. If we can figure out a way to get his character and the Diaper Servants into one plot, I’ll be the first in line to see that flick. Opening night. Who’s with me?
Cut to… what I honestly thought was a dildo flapping in the wind. No, just a weird, pink, veiny-looking unicorn horn, attached to a stuffed unicorn, which is on Bobby’s back as he rides through the wind. It doesn’t help the song playing keeps saying “I’ve got the hots for you.”
Bobby narrates that he needs to get Paul out of his undisclosed location. He approaches Paul’s tweenage sister on a playground. The outfit she is wearing is inappropriate. Short shorts, a belly shirt, and a big floppy hat. Combine this with a teenage boy handing her a large, phallic, stuffed unicorn to the previously mentioned “I’ve Got the Hots for You,” and this scene takes on a skeevy Lolita context.
Paul is alone in a prison cafeteria, talking to Bobby. He asks Paul who he thinks framed him for stealing the SATs. All Paul wants to know is if Bobby is there to take him home.
The next day at school, all the students walk through a metal detector, as Bruce Willis watches. He tells the people watching the screens to look for weapons. I think they knew that, Bruce. He also mentions that weapons “aren’t always obvious,” which I am also sure was covered in their training. Then he reminds them to confiscate gum. Okay, you got me there, Bruce.
Bruce gives a very young-looking girl a pat down, reminding someone to his left “only the back of your hands.” Again- unless you employed the St. Donovan’s gift shop staff, they know how to properly search for weapons. As the girl walks away, Bruce turns to a very large guard. “Here’s the thing… it’s very important. You’re gonna wanna fuck them. But don’t fuck them. You understand?” The guard nods, silently. Pure class.
Bobby is alone in the cafeteria again, and then walks down the hallway, alone. This movie did not want to pay for extras. It would be tedious to have mentioned all the scenes in which Bobby, or Bobby and a secondary character, were alone, but, believe me, it is less than believable. Paul wasn’t even being supervised in the prison cafeteria- and he was taking medicine just before the scene started.
Bobby creeps in on the student council meeting, listing all the people Paul shot that didn’t make sense to him- Marlon, the Mullens, and the blonde armband dude, who is the school treasurer. Funny that a dude who looks like he hates Jews is handling the money. All three of them are goofing off at the council meeting, and Bobby wonders why Paul would want to shoot his friends. The student council boys talk about sex while Bobby listens in. Highlights: one Mullen twin makes a “I buttfucked your mom” joke to another Mullen twin, who then points out they have the same mother.
Blonde Armband guy says, when he fucks a girl, he likes to dial her dad’s number while she isn’t looking, so her dad can hear him fucking her ass. So I guess, while Bobby has therapy for his frozen sexual trauma, the girls can see the same shrink about that horrible dinner conversation.
The Mullens catch Bobby listening and pin him against a locker, threatening him with detention for life. “Detention for Life” sounds like a show that would have been on 1 Saturday Morning. Does anyone know about I’m talking about? Crickets? Okay.
Marlon invites Bobby to the party at his house later that week, and says he could talk to him there. He tells the Cullens that he doesn’t want to get on Bobby’s bad side- after all, look what happened to Moore. One of the Mullens, who has his detention pad and pencil out, looks back and forth, from his pad to Bobby. He finally decides to slap Bobby with the pencil, jam it through the entire detention pad, then hand Bobby the detention-pad-on-a-stick. When this movie is done, Bobby is going to need therapy for all his pencil-related traumas. “Let’s forget about the snow dick for a while,” he’ll say, lying on the couch, “number two pencils? Are now our number one priority.”
Bobby walks down a road at night, and is distracted by a chick having sex in a parked car. She gives him the stink eye, and he walks up to Mischa and Marlon’s house to join the party. Bobby spots Marlon, who is flanked by a slightly less drunk Hot Drunk Girl, and immediately begins asking him questions for the paper. Marlon tells him to relax and have fun. Typical teen partying ensues, and Goldfrapp plays. Bobby mentions he can’t drink too much, because he has a driving test the next day.
For some reason, Carla and Sam are at the party, drinking and smoking joints, respectively. Nothing of note happens, save Bobby doing a white boy dance. Sam, Accent Guy and Finger Boy smoke joints outside the party and see Bobby. They talk about “that cum dumpster” Mischa, and imply he is in way over his head with her. Bobby, who loves walking outside at parties… walks outside during the party. He spots Sam, Finger Boy and Accent Guy, who tell him nothing of consequence. He goes back inside, where Carla tries to speak to him about the paper, but Mischa takes his hand and leads him to lose his virginity to her in Marlon’s room. Ew.
The next morning, Bobby leaves Mischa, who is still asleep, to go to the test. Really, Bobby? Not even a note? “Thanks for swiping my V-card, chick I’ll hate at the end of this film?”
The same instructor we see in the montage is giving Bobby his driving test. She refers to Bobby as “Mr. Funky,” just like everyone else in the entire universe. As he drives, he spots a Mullen going in and out of a pharmacy, and stops to car to “adjust the mirror” so he can spy on the Mullen brothers, who are in a van with a bunch of boys. The Mullen Van (how is it actually referred to in the film) drives off, and Bobby says he wants to practice his parallel parking. A Mullen brother enters and leaves another pharmacy.
Driving Instructor comments on Bobby’s perfect parking, and says this might be the test he finally aces. Bobby stops as a light changes to yellow, but the Mullen Van took off when it was green. Bobby decides to sacrifice his license for his scoop and puts the pedal to the medal, driving like a maniac to follow them secretly. Very subtle.
Driver Instructor freaks out, and the test ends.
Accent Guy meets up with Sam, who starts to pull the lever on a fire alarm. Eyepatch girl walks up to them, and says they aren’t supposed to do that unless there is actually a fire. Accent Guy puts the moves on her to get her to shut up.
Meanwhile, Bobby is with Sam, who unlocks a door labelled ‘STUDENT COUNCIL,’ using a huge ring of keys from her purse. She tells him she is sleeping with the janitor, which may or may not be a joke, but still doesn’t explain why she’d have his keys during school hours. Bobby walks through the door, and Accent Guy starts making out Eyepatch girl- who seriously looks about 11- to distract her as he pulls the fire alarm.
Bobby looks through files as the alarm goes off. A curly-haired kid spots Bobby walking out, through a window, and smirks.
Cut to the Mullens and Blonde Armband Guy going over their white boy rap songs in someone’s basement. B.A.G asks a Mullen to grab some beers and Pepto Bismol, so he heads to the Mullen Van, where Bobby is sitting. He informs the Mullen that he has been reading the student council treasury log. He notes that money disappears and reappears. He tells the Mullen to grow up, and to be his own man. Cut to Bobby leaving with blood on his face.
Bobby goes to school the next day, and everyone in the courtyard looks completely freaked out. He narrates that everyone in the school needed to retake the SATs, since the stolen ones were nullified. Mischa tells him to go to her house after school, and they take a bath together.
The next day at school, everyone is reading the school paper. On the cover: “FUNKE FRAMED HIM!” Also, my pause button lets me know that another article is entitled “State Looks At Health Of St.Donovan Trees,” which sounds riveting if you can get past the improper capitalization. Everyone glares at Bobby, and Eyepatch Girl informs him he “shouldn’t have done that.”
The article says that Bobby incriminated Paul in order to get with Mischa, and was written by Tad, so I guess he was the curly-haired kid who was smirking. Carla tells Bobby she is recommending Tad get the Northwestern scholarship instead. Mischa slaps Bobby in class.
Bobby asks the Spanish teacher to let him leave to talk to “some people,” but the teacher refuses, until he asks in Spanish. He has a total meltdown, and says everyone in the class cheats off Steve, then yells and screams. Finally, there is a shot of the Virgin Mary Bead Door, which Bruce Willis walks though, speaking Spanish.
Could we pause for a moment? Because this is important. If Bobby knows everyone in his Spanish class cheats off Steve, why did he feel the need to write an article investigating who his Spanish class is cheating from? I mean, is it me? Anyway:
Bruce talks to Bobby in an empty hallway, and Bobby says he is uncovering some major things, and mentions drugs. Bruce interrupts, asking if Bobby is chewing gum. Bobby continues explaining his finding, and Bruce asks the question again. Bobby snaps, saying that is irrelevant. Bruce rants, saying he is not a fucking clown, and he is not on Earth to give Bobby joy. He asks if Bobby is chewing gum again, and Bobby freaks out, saying he has a “FUCKING JUMBO PACK IN MY POCKET,” and his entire locker is filled with gum. “NO BOOKS- JUST GUM!”
“I am trying to talk to you about matters of the utmost importance here!” Bobby screams, slamming his gum wad onto a locker. Bruce takes off his jacket in a way that lets us know he means business. Or Bis-ness. I miss the Diaper Servants.
Cut to Bobby in In-School Suspension, kids welding behind him. Rocky gives him a tour of the In-School Suspension gym, which is outside. …right. A phone rings, outdoors, and Bobby gets it. It is Peter. He says he has two conflicting articles on his desk, and Bobby tries to explain himself. Peter doesn’t believe a word Bobby is saying, but tells him to “follow the money,” and that he has until Monday.
Bobby is inside the In-School Suspension room, where Sam and the dudes are playing Strip Battleship. Seriously, In-School Suspension is nothing like this. Bobby looks through paperwork, in front of the chalk board from the opening image. Sam tells Bobby not to worry, and calls Tad “an enormous vagina.” This makes Bobby remember something, and flips to a page where he made the following note: “Tad= Vagina.” He really commited that to paper?
He looks at his mini notepad, which reminds him of the detention-pad-on-a-stick. Random images appear and his mind puts things together, all to an “unrelated” conversation in the background about “connecting the dots” (in reference to Sam’s polka dot bra.) Bobby remembers more random things, which I could list, but we’re about to find out the answers to all our queries anyway.
Bobby walks over to Mischa and Marlon’s house. There is music playing, but no one answers the doorbell. He walks in anyway and spies on Mischa taking a bath. By the way, there is a thirty second clip of Mischa Barton’s boobs here. I wouldn’t make you watch this for those thirty seconds, so here.
Bobby narrates about the complexity of high school and walks in slo-mo. He briefly visits a basketball game, but sees Carla and leaves.
Aaaaaand, here are some answers:
- Alex (armband dude) and the Mullen brothers have been selling prescription drugs since their Freshman year. Papa Mullen left, leaving behind, among other things, prescription pads from his medical practice, and the Mullens took advantage of this inheritance.
- However, the Mullens are too dumb to craft an entire scheme. Under Marlon’s leadership, the four snuck in and sabotaged SATs, knowing that the brains would fold under pressure and be likely to buy their products.
- Their business boomed so much, they needed to start using student council money to fund their supplies.
- Paul, though not the brightest bulb, eventually noticed what was going on with the treasury. He spoke to Marlon, saying he is going to have to terminate Alex from his Treasurer position.
- Marlon couldn’t have that, so he planted the SATs in his locker.
BUT WAIT. There’s more! Bobby walks in on the four dudes in Bruce Willis’s office after hours. He confronts them, and they open the window and plot to throw him out. The building is a tower, and Bruce Willis’s office is at the very top (as it should be.) They say they will make it look like a suicide attempt.
Just when they are about to throw him, Sam, Accent Guy, Finger Boy and Rocky run in. Bobby says he “made an announcement,” and we see he somehow recorded the conversation over the PA. Cut to the basketball court, where the game has stopped, and everyone is listening to the speaker.
Mischa walks in Bruce Willis’s office. It is revealed that, while Bobby saw Mischa in the bath, he also saw something else: she was bathing with Marlon.
Back in Bruce Willis’s office, he tells her that she played him, Paul, and the entire school. Bruce Willis then walks in, and tells everyone but “the five of you” (Mischa, Marlon, Mullens and Alex.) As Bobby leaves, Mischa tells him “you’ll never understand why I did it,” to which he responds:
Nobody’s misunderstood. That’s just what people say when they don’t like who they are.
He then leaves with Carla, who was conveniently right next to him.