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Frank Rose Bailey IV
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"The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story" delves into the experiences of six unknown young actors placed into the Hollywood spotlight, exposing the challenges of growing up under public scrutiny while trying to maintain the squeaky clean image of their popular characters both on and off-screen.Written by
Many of the original show's core cast members - including Tiffani Thiessen, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley - have gone on record denouncing this film and the memoir it is based on. Dustin Diamond himself has stated that many of the events in his memoir were greatly embellished by a ghostwriter, and that, in fact, most of the events depicted in the book are completely untrue. Nevertheless, Diamond serves as an executive producer for this film. See more »
This "unauthorized" telling of the events from the hit television show Saved By the Bell is based on the book that was written by Dustin Diamond (Screech) and centers on his unhappy time filming the show.
THE UNAUTHORIZED SAVED BY THE BELL STORY is a rather strange film on a number of levels. If you grew up watching the show like I did then you know it was rather corny and campy and those two words are how I'd describe this television movie. I say that because the movie really doesn't get into the darker elements of the story and it's rather silly when you think that some of the real-life people were upset about the movie. In all honesty, this is a pretty tame look at the events that were going on behind-the-scenes.
With that being said, since the movie was made Diamond has came out and said that a lot of the book was made up so perhaps that's why certain elements didn't make it into the film. For the most part this was a decent made-for-television film that will have some appeal to fans of the show. We learn that Diamond was basically unhappy while making the show because he wasn't treated the same way as other cast members and his "dork" character wasn't able to get ladies. What this movie is basically saying is that pretty people have it easier than ugly ones.
As far as the casting goes, the producers went to great trouble to make sure their young cast looked like the people they were playing. Performances were okay but certainly nothing special. I doubt the producers were looking for Oscar-winning performances but instead people who could at least make the viewers feel you were watching the real characters. The story isn't the strongest thing that I've seen but then again this is a TV movie for Lifetime.
On the whole, there's really nothing special or great about this film but it should appeal to fans who want to relive some of the campy moments from the show.
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