1.) This is a pretty funny movie. Two reasons: the first one is that many of the comedic pitfalls (i.e. many of the delinquent students’ traps on the teachers) make their mark (and establishing how the students treat their teachers badly). The second reason is the dialogue works well (despite the fact they are speaking Spanish, I find it funnier they are speaking their tongue really fast).
2.) The cast play so well into their roles and their interaction with each other. You can buy that they are playing teachers, an ex-con playing as a substitute teacher, and delinquent children. I am not sure how well they are playing their roles since they are speaking Spanish, but if I see a foreign actor playing their role so poorly despite speaking a language other than English, their native language cannot save them. However, as far as I can tell, they did well, and they express different emotions in certain situations.
3.) Even though it has been done to death before, I appreciate the message and its delivery (for the most part). You have a story about a man who does not really care about the students, and they feel the same way about the man. Over time, they realize they need each other to fix their flaws, and they get better in the end. Cliche, but I do like it. I also really like many of the sub-plots added in the movie that gives more weight to the message…
1.) …That being said, the main plot seemed to have gotten lost throughout most of the movie. It gets brought up, but only twice in the second act. When it gets into the last act, it gets easily resolved. Kind of weak, but they at least used that as a romantic subplot that leads to an obvious breakup between the two main leads. Predictable.
2.) The first half of the movie suffers with editing and pacing issues. There are plenty of moments when the jump cuts are pretty noticeable and a little disorientating. For the pacing, it seems like they want jump quickly into the action with small moments of them just slowing down a bit. It does disappear by the last half, but it is worth noting.
3.) The movie seems to have a problem using many of their side characters. The characters that spend much screen time in the first half barely appear in the second half, and vice versa on the characters that barely had screen time on the first half. A good example is the female lead’s best friend. She spends time in the movie for the first half, but suddenly disappears in the second half. She comes up here or there, and reappears by the end. A little inconsistent from what I have seen.
It has been a long time since I reviewed a foreign movie. I believe the last foreign movie I reviewed was Instructions Not Included back in 2013. I thought it was time for me to watch another foreign movie (mainly because I do not feel like being depressed. Guess what movie that recently came out that fits into that category). Enter No Manches Frida (WTF, Frida), a movie remake based on a German 2013 film called Fack ju Göhte (F**k you, Goethe). I would describe this movie as the comedic version of Freedom Writers. It does very well in its comedy and message, though not as good as Freedom Writers (even though that film is more serious). Despite that, I enjoy the movie. If you are in a mood for something funny and new (i.e. foreign), watch No Manches Frida. Es muy divertido. Just do not expect anything new in the table.