The pure example of an indie film "cents," which premieres on VOD platforms on November 15 2016, is a charming fable that provides a candid look at the world of middle-school girls. A particularly disturbing scene from the perspective of one whose middle-school days are things of a distant past has the "Heathers" get revenge regarding a boy sexting a girl other than his significant other by posting a revealing photo of the object of the affection of the lad.
Tween math whiz Sammy (nee Samantha) simultaneously wanting to join the cool kids and discovering the potential for great profit from skimming from a charitable penny drive prompts her to join the latter. The ensuing incredible success prompts local news coverage praising the efforts of Sammy and former BFF/current frienemy Katie Schmidt.
The enssuing celebrity creates enhanced middle-school drama in the form of the ousted head of the drive contributing her two cents by accusing Sammy and Katie of wrongdoing. The ensuing scandal hits our girls hard to the extent that Sammy endures a highly symbolic modern equivalent of being stoned.
Home-based drama comes in the form of the nurse-practitioner single mother of Sammy continuing a long struggle for admission to medical school. Having a typical tween daughter (not to mention one with a history of behavioral problems) does not help matters. However, increasingly grand gestures by Sammy regarding her mother shows that she is starting to understand the challenges of raising a kid under less than ideal circumstances.
Other relatable elements include the tough-but-caring teacher who volunteers her time to tutor Sammy in Calculus and the more stern "bad-guy" principal who metes out arguable severe discipline.
The fact that the young actresses truly seem to be 12 year-old girls either reflects their acting ability or their skill at being themselves. Either way, they effectively play their parts.
The adults show equal (if not better) understanding of their roles. Those of us of their generation can relate to Mrs. Schmidt closing (but not slamming) the door in the face of Sammy and Angela Bacca losing patience with Sammy, who is making things unduly difficult.
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