After viewing this very good film, it is time to introduce finger printing at the time the college entrance exams are given.
The brain of the girls is convinced to take the important test for 2 gals and 1 guy. While she has high values, an ailing younger brother, in need of therapy and a father out of work, are the driving reasons that she does this. Of course, one of the threesome has harassed her for a long time.
Obviously, this can only lead to further trouble and of course it does. Whoever thought that murder of our Miss Intelligent would occur? To get even with the girl who harassed her, she took the exam and on purpose made sure to receive a low score. Of course, this led to her demise and at first, two of them attempt to frame the hesitant girl who went along with the scheme so as to boost her score and get into the college of her desire.
Kudos to the counselor who realized something was amiss when so-so students received top scores, previously higher from their first test taking. A big thumbs down to the school principal who tried to hush the whole thing up since one of the fathers of the boy was well known in town. Finally, naturally, we see the mother instinct in both of the mother of the girls fighting to clear their daughter and the ruthlessness that the mother of the guilty party would do to shield her guilty daughter of murder.
Reviewed by lavatch8 / 10
Junior Varsity Blues
In the FBI sting operation called Varsity Blues, a large number of elitist parents pulled the strings by paying out millions of dollars to allow their children to enter prestigious universities through the back door. In "The Cheating Pact," it is three high school students who enlist a nerd to take their college entrance exam for them. Thus, a fitting title for this review is Junior Varsity Blues.
The students at Lexington High School are pressured both by the school administration and their parents to aim for the finest schools when they graduate. The filmmakers did a good job in showing the pressure the kids were under and what led Kylie, Heather, and Jordan to pay the brainy Meredith to take the exam in their stead. For her part, Meredith needed the money for her brother, who was a cripple with a father who was laid off work and could not pay for the kid's physical therapy.
The character of the guidance character becomes suspicious about how Heather and Jordan's test scores rose on the re-take of the exam. It was especially the dim-witted southpaw quarterback Jordan that raised the antenna of the counselor. But the implosion comes primarily from within the conspiracists, who find that they are unable to keep a secret.
It was remarkable how sympathetic the characters were by the end of this melodramatic ordeal in which poor Meredith dies. In a Lifetime film, anytime that a character is standing at the top of a stair case, one senses that the law of gravity will be invoked by another character to point the character in the right direction down the stairs. By the end, no one will escape the calumny of a sordid affair, and yet there is a surprising degree of redemption in the life lessons learned by both the children and their parents.
The title of the film gets at the heart of the agreement that is sworn by the cheaters never to betray one another. But it is a foregone conclusion that someone will spill the beans. In this case, it was the character with greatest amount of integrity, Heather, who was the first to realize that there is more to life that getting admitted to Whittendale and that human values mean more than a test score.
Reviewed by JamieWJackson7 / 10
well made, no big surprises, but enjoyable
There weren't a lot of plot twists here, but still, not being familiar with whatever real events were behind the story (at least I think there were real events; not fascinated enough to go look it up ATM), I didn't know exactly what was going to happen. Like any disaster movie, we watch to see things go horribly wrong, because somehow we get something from doing so. Are we just glad it's not us? Are we vicariously enjoying the thrill of the danger, safe in our seats? Maybe we like watching people be worried and scared. Why would that be?
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of movies to scratch that itch. "The Cheating Pact" is one. What starts off as a relatively minor case of cheating on college entrance exams spirals out of control, and we get to watch all the kids and their parents and friends reacting to a situation they (for the most part) don't even know is happening.
The film-making quality is pretty good. The production values are fine; this isn't a giant explosions and cars going over cliffs type of movie, so it really comes down to story, acting, directing, and editing, all of which are sufficient to make this an enjoyable watch.
I think the question a movie like this should inspire is "what would I do?" in the shoes of one or more of the characters. There are some good questions to ponder here. Would you cheat, if your parents were pressuring you to do better? Would you help someone else cheat, for money, if you needed the money? Would you trust your child if they said they didn't cheat? There are other, bigger questions which this movie begins to raise about the importance of college, social pressures, intergenerational expectations, and more. However, it focuses its energy on the individuals and relationships directly in front of us, and by doing so it stays tight and avoids coming across as pretentious or overly preachy.