Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1992. Paramount Pictures. Story by Dick Wolf, Screenplay by Dick Wolf, Darryl Ponicsan. Cinematography by Freddie Francis. Produced by Stanley R. Jaffe, Sherry Lansing. Music by Maurice Jarre. Production Design by Jeannine Oppewall. Costume Design by Ann Roth. Film Editing by Jacqueline Cambas, Gerald B. Greenberg.
In this hybrid of Gentleman’s Agreement and Beverly Hills, 90210, Brendan Fraser plays a high school student whose exceptional scholastic achievements have earned him entrance into a high-ranking prep school. To succeed all he needs to do is maintain his grades and conceal his Jewish heritage from the bigoted student body and staff around him. When the truth is revealed, however, his fellow students and closest friends turn their backs on him and treat him in the worst possible manner. The film wants so desperately to put forth a social message, but the eventual message is to always like good-looking guys no matter where they’re from, and it’s a bit naive on the filmmakers part to set this story in the fifties as if to say that this sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore. The young cast also includes Chris O’Donnell, Amy Locane and early appearances by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.