Perfect High
by Phil Boatwright

A Lifetime made-for-TV movie premiering Saturday, June 27, 2015.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Starring Bella Thorne, Perfect High follows the story of Amanda, a high school dancer, who begins taking prescription painkillers after she sustains a knee injury. Embraced by the popular crowd and falling in love for the first time, life couldn’t be any sweeter for Amanda.  But as her addiction to pills intensifies and her popularity includes sharing her pills, Amanda and her friends resort to lying and stealing to keep up with their costly - and dangerous – habit.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Though this first aired several days ago, it’s one to keep an eye open for. Like most made-for-TV movies, I’m sure it will repeat. And that would be a good thing.

While the film exposes a new generation to the ills of drug use, much the way many a past TV-movie has done for past teens, Perfect High is also somewhat of an indictment on the electronic age. Those enslaved to iPhones and their kin, have designed a world that is encompassed within a hand-held device that consumes every waking moment. We’re becoming a land of Geekoids who look down all the time, failing to acknowledge passersby, as if those folks don’t count because they aren’t encoded in our Star Trek-like communicators. Of course this film won’t change that, but viewing from a distance, there’s something dehumanizing about this overtaking by electronic gizmos. It’s Orwellian in nature.

Aided by a strong performance by Bella Thorne, it’s in your face with the depiction of a popular/talented/pretty person who spirals downhill beginning with painkillers, then being seduced by even harsher drugs meant to aid emotional as well as physical pains. And though it may seem obvious to most that we shouldn’t try heroin, lots do. This film shows how it can easily happen.

Perfect High has a great deal of mature subject matter ranging from teen alcohol and drug use to sexual situations. There is some sensuality and brief language. But it doesn’t seem to be exploitive, but rather honestly descriptive.