Every time it dabbles in real-world teen issues like sex and drugs, it returns to a fanciful high school where kids quote Nietzsche and play acoustic guitar on lunch breaks.
| Original Score: 2/4
Mario Van Peebles' self-produced project comes frustratingly close to his high-minded aims.
| Original Score: 2/5
Heavy-handed teen drama mixes moralizing and partying to uneven effect.
A good-natured high school dramedy that borrows from many others...
| Original Score: 1.5/4
With the raunch of "American Pie" and the heart of an after-school special, the comedy turns out to be a lot less than the sum of its parts.
Van Peebleses ... populate the movie, and all are serviceable enough as actors; it would be nice to see them in less earnest, more original material.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
A colorful but superficial mess.
Despite its flashy cinematography and colorful sets, it contains a great deal that is serious about growing up in America today.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
The pic feels like a quickie knockoff between major projects, offering the writer-director's handsome son Mandela and other younger Van Peebles loads of screentime.
It's an uneasy mixture of crude yukking and mixed-message uplift that satisfies on neither level.
Van Peebles's heart is probably in the right place, but his attempt to wed his kids' generational moment to a classic coming-of-age template falters in its message-obsessed execution.