Disclaimer: I love this movie, but some of it makes absolutely no sense. 

 

1. When Does the School DJ Go to Classes?

 

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Sure, I'll accept that this totally normal high school has a resident DJ who gossips about student relationships and follows the Prom Queen race more closely than Nate Silver follows the presidential election. It's probably, you know, some kind of student radio station...that's transmitted over the loudspeaker to the entire campus at all times. And is run solely by one student. Who never goes to classes. And IS USHER.

(While we're on the subject of stupid things about this school, of course the student body president has his own parking space. God forbid he be late to the many important student council meetings we never once see him attend.)

 

2. The Characters Regularly Make Up Words

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I understand that language is fluid. And yes, some of the film's neologisms ("bitch magnet," "hoover it," "wiggage," "bobos") are stylistic choices. I appreciate that. But "bump monkeys"? "Shit frisbees"? "Badass mamba-jahamba"? What the fuck is a mamba-jahamba? How can these characters just string nonsense phrases together like they're established expressions that everyone is familiar with? And why does everyone else go along with it?? Whoever wrote this movie (M. Night Shyamalan, if you believe him) was clearly so desperate to channel some kind of Authentic Teen Slang that they just started making shit up. "Eh, how about instead of 'had sex with' he says 'jammed'? Trust me, the kids won't question it."

 

 3. Zack Hasn't Picked a College In May

 

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As the movie's chronology spans the two months from spring break till prom night, the plotline about Zack's college decision slowly grows less and less believable. It's April and Zack's notoriously uptight helicopter parents buy his story that he hasn't heard back from a single college? Weird, but not a glaring error. It's the day of the prom and he still hasn't committed to a school or sent in a deposit? NOPE. Dartmouth has already given his spot away to Brock Hudson off the waitlist. ("Pick my college, Brock. Choose my future!" - Zack's dad.)

 

4. The Hackysack Scene

 

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Okay. 14 years have gone by. It's time to talk about this scene. 

(Thank goodness the Jester Theatre happened to have that music and backdrop light show ready and perfectly synced up for Zack's performance.)

Not counting the midget performance art that immediately precedes it ("Be silent. Be still."), the hackeysack scene lasts almost three full minutes. THREE MINUTES. That's a long time in a 90-minute movie to devote to a scene that in no way furthers the plot and only slightly helps develop Zack's character. (Y'know, in case we didn't get that he was under a lot of pressure from the scene five minutes ago where we see him wearily pull his college acceptance letters out of hiding, flip through them, and rest his head in his hands sadly.) It's also 100% insane, and without a doubt the most intense, suspenseful cinematic sequence ever to be centered around a hackeysack. Sooner or later...it has to drop.