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Contest (2013)

 -  Drama | Family  -  5 October 2013 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 363 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

A bullied high school student is suddenly befriended by his chief tormentor and together they face challenges that will change their lives forever.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Matt Prylek
...
Tommy Dolen
...
'Gran' Angela Maria Tucci
...
Sarah O'Malley
...
Kyle Prylek
...
Will Terkin
...
Ned
...
Rip
...
Philip King
...
Bobby Butler
Kelley Missal ...
Anya Bartosh
...
Quigs (as Jake Evan Schwencke)
...
Joe
...
Abby Peerson
Dan Fabi ...
Dennis
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Storyline

Bullied high school student Tommy (Daniel Flaherty) is suddenly befriended by his chief tormentor, Matt (Kenton Duty), the school's most popular student and star athlete. Tommy is suspicious, but is forced to accept the awkward friendship in order to enter a cooking contest with a big prize. And besides, it's so much easier to impress his crush, Sarah (Katherine McNamara), when he's not getting beat up by Matt and his team. As the cooking contest heats up, Sarah sniffs out a conspiracy, but nobody wants to hear about it. Can Tommy trust his budding friendship with Matt or is it all a huge joke on him? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some Friendships are an Acquired Taste. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some bullying, rude humor and language
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Details

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Release Date:

5 October 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of the actors and crew have been involved in anti-bullying efforts around the country prior to being attached to Contest. See more »

Soundtracks

Land of Opportunity
Performed by A Great Big World
Written by Ian Axel & Chad Vaccarino
Produced & Mixed by Dan Romer
Published by Ian Axel/BMI & Chad Vaccarino/BMI
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not quite over the top attempt to showcase bullying
5 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I saw "bullying", I thought "Oh, geez, another over-the-top, sensitive, feel-good movie that doesn't make a real point." but Contest isn't so far off from real life, although it tosses in a few over-the-top points, which are supposed to help the viewer become aware, not distract them from the message.

It's obvious that it would be tricky to attack bullying without seeming ridiculous, especially since no one really knows how to handle it in real life. I suspect that everyone has been bullied in real life, especially the bullies, but dealing with it in in real life always seems to be non-confrontational.

It's also obvious that everyone in the film tried to make it work and that there was some good chemistry between the characters. Daniel Flaherty's character, Tommy, seems as good a victim as you would hope--someone who just can't catch a break, but still hard-working and caring. It's evident in a scene where he's being swindled by another teen who says his parents lost their jobs. Kenton Duty's character, Matt, doesn't really seem a bully though his brother Kyle does, but that he doesn't want to be bullied, so he goes along with it rather than be ostracized by the rest of the team, and tries to have some fun along the way. Katherine McNamara's character, Sarah, is the intelligent, don't-take-no-for-an-answer type. Tommy's grandmother is the only character that seemed unrealistic, as she wanted to cook for the bullies, to ply them with food, to make them see reason. I don't know of any place in the northeast where that works and I don't recall a grandmother who wasn't at least a little feisty. Still, along the way she has words of wisdom and becomes the voice of reason.

There is plenty of scheming and double-dealing and you might need a score card to keep up with who is on which side. Sarah seemed to be keeping up with most everything, but strangely never threatened.

In the end, things work out pretty well for Tommy, despite the minor disasters and soul-searching but all the scheming behind the scenes because of Kyle and Joe made me wonder if Matt was safe. Kyle and Joe didn't seem to learn or regret and there weren't any real consequences that would make them change their minds. Wrapping up the story with a perfect ending is fine when you don't have a fabric store full of loose threads, like a 1960s sitcom.


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