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“Middle School”: The worst movie adaptation of my life

Nicolas Belcaro, Staff Writer

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If there’s one thing that comes close to my love of a good book, it’s my hatred for a bad book adaptation, even more so if it is a book I like. So when I saw the trailer for the new movie, “Middle School:The Worst Years of My Life,” I was disappointed to see that it seemed nothing like the charming and quirky book I had remembered reading so long ago. Both the movie and the book are about troubled 6th grader, Rafe Khatchadorian, and his struggle to survive middle school. Aside from my enjoyment of the characters, this is where one of my favorite books and least favorite movies split.
Before I discuss the rest of the plot, I need to talk about where the movie went wrong. The book is told from Rafe’s point of view, but more than that, reality is skewed through Rafe’s opinion as he’s the one telling the story to the reader. It is obvious that what Rafe describes is to be taken with a grain of salt. Because of this, viewers can believe most of the incidents could, to an extent, happen. The movie throws this out the window. The movie changes one of characters, the principal, by making him the antagonist. This wouldn’t be a problem if the directors didn’t make the principal the most unbelievable, silly, and unlikeable villain I’ve ever seen. The modification wasn’t even necessary! The original book was about Rafe and him overcoming the problems in his life. It was psychological; it was Rafe versus himself. Adding an antagonist detracts from the central theme of the book.
But this wasn’t the only change. Rafe decides to break as many rules as possible. In the book, he scores each rule based on its risk, whereas in the movie, he decides to break all of the rules indiscriminately. One place the movie went wrong is that it has no relativity in how bad Rafe’s actions are. In other words, it doesn’t feel as colossal when he does something terribly wrong as it does in the book.
The book starts small, and ends large, which helps keep it real. In contrast, the movie starts off big and never stops. In all, I think the movie was a pile of garbage, even if you forget about the book, you’re left with a comedy movie that even an undeveloped zygote would think is to childish and cliché.

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“Middle School”: The worst movie adaptation of my life