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Film: Class Act

Class Act is a 1992 comedy film starring hip-hop duo Kid 'n Play. The film is an urban retelling of the fairy tale The Prince and the Pauper. The main characters are Duncan Pinderhughes a genius high school student, and Michael "Blade" Brown a juvenile delinquent.

Duncan is getting ready for graduation, but finds out during an interview that despite his perfect SAT score and GPA, Harvard University will not admit him unless he can pass phys. ed. Ex-convict Blade is released from jail, and told by his parole officer that the condition of his release is staying out of trouble and a satisfactory graduation from high school. Having moved to a new neighborhood, Duncan now has to go to Higgins High School to complete his graduation requirements. As both boys encounter one another in the hallway, causing Blade to forcefully push Duncan aside, a mishap results in their pictures being swapped on their school records, causing everyone to think that each is the other one. Thus Blade is placed in Gifted classes, while Duncan is placed in minimal classes with substandard conditions and miscreants for classmates.

At first both boys are perplexed about their situation, until they learn what has happened. Duncan is eager to tell the Principal what has happened while Blade, on the other hand, decides to use this situation to his advantage. Threatening Duncan to pass all his classes, while also trying to give the clumsy genius a new persona to keep his good name and rep intact. Despite the changes in their lives, both boys gradually discover their own untapped skills while continuing the charade.


Tropes:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Damita and her wardrobe of low-cut attire.
  • Accidental Athlete: When Duncan is sent to a PE class for the first time in his life, he participates in Football. In doing this he discovers he has a uncanny ability to kick field goals by calculating the trajectory.
  • Accidental Pervert: Duncan (multiple times). The first time was when Blade sends him crashing through the secretary, Ms. Jackson's, office resulting in him face-planting onto her chest.
    • The second time was Duncan trying to crawl away from danger and ends up face-planting into Damita's chest. Despite this little mishap, Damita asked for Blade's (i.e. Duncan's) phone number, as he leaves his words are jumbled: "See you later da'titty- I mean Damita."
    • When crawling through the vents at the museum, he face-plants into Damita's rump.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Damita wasn't attracted to Blade (i.e. Duncan) until she found out about his reputation.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Blade has no problem expressing his love of women and sex.
  • Black and Nerdy: Duncan of course.
  • Brainy Brunette: Ellen, who was played by Karyn Parsons known for her role as Hilary Banks who is, amusingly, a character that is the complete opposite of Ellen.
  • Cool Teacher: Mrs. Ipswitch, who was impressed by Duncan's (i.e. Blade's) report on human sexuality as a function of breeding environment.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: Duncan telling the jail guard about his and Blade's childhood.
    • Toddler Duncan properly learned to use his potty. Toddler Blade peed outside on the street.
    • Young Duncan read books on Advanced Physics. Young Blade looked at pinup magazines (described by Duncan as a becoming a Smut King)
    • Duncan "I was the perfect child who learned to share, while Blade was becoming a harden criminal."
    • Tween Duncan exploring the universe with a telescope. Tween Blade peeping through a keyhole as a girl undresses.
    • Duncan received a trophy for academic achievements. Blade received a jail sentence.
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: Blade highly prefers his nickname over his given name.
  • Crack is Whack!
  • Ephebophile: Ms. Jackson the secretary and Ms. Joanne Simpson the Advanced Latin teacher.
    • As Ms. Jackson was sorting student records, and rubbing the photos on her breasts, she proclaims "Woo! Jailbait!".
    • When Ms. Simpson wants to know more about Duncan (i.e. Blade) she seductively places a single leg on his desk and bites on a piece of candy, she tells him that Latin is the Father of all Romance languages.
  • First Kiss: Damita taking the initiative and aggressively kissing Duncan (complete with butt squeeze) as he flopped around like a rag doll.
  • Fish out of Water: Duncan trying to adapt to life as Blade Brown, while Blade trying to adapt to life as a genius.
  • Credits Gag: Before the credits roll, Blade wanted to tell his side of the story, which would have included sex, car chases, and sex, hip hop and more sex, did I mention sex?
  • Hollywood Nerd: Ellen, although not the type of girl Blade is attracted to physically, she is obviously cute.
  • Hot Guys Are Bastards: Michael "Blade" Brown
  • I Can't Dance: Duncan
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Wedge when he thought he was going to be killed.
  • Innocent Innuendo: When Blade was giving Duncan a make over, Duncan's father overhears what is happening and misinterprets the whole scene.
    Blade: You know you're gonna like it! Stop squirming or I'll hold you down!
    Duncan: Will you stop blowing me?! You're getting me much too hot! Ow!
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Right before the ending, Duncan's parents hear bed squeaking, and fear Duncan and Blade are having sex. John goes to investigate, and finds Duncan having sex with Damita. He is inordinately overjoyed that his son his straight.
    Mr. Pinderhughes: And son... Don't forget to put your "jimmy hat" on.
  • Jheri curl: As a man grabs Damita for a dance, she lashes out at him by insulting his hairstyle.
  • Jive Turkey: Principal Kratz's as he was confronting Blade (i.e. Duncan).
    Principal Kratz: Well I don't give a hootnanny what you think you are- Bub! You're not going to intimidate me Jack!
    • Blade trying to teach Duncan how to speak street.
      • needless to say, he be needin' some more practice.
  • Leitmotif: Basically when the main characters appear on-screen. Notably Wedge's theme being the funniest, full of noise-blurts and off-key notes.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Throughout the movie, Blade says Duncan's last name every way possible except for "Pinderhughes." Though of course this is mostly due to him being a jerk.
    Blade: It's me! Duncan Pincushion!
    Duncan: *sighs heavily* It's Pinderhughes...
  • Megane: Duncan Pinderhughes
  • Mistaken for Gay: As Duncan and Blade spend more time together, Duncan's parents, mainly his father, start to suspect that their son is gay.
    Mrs. Julie Pinderhughes: Dear what's the matter?
    Mr. John Pinderhughes: Julie, have you ever wondered about our son's sexual... preference?
    Mrs. Julie Pinderhughes: Hee... You know, I never really was aware that he had one.
    (Both laugh)
    • Blade runs into Duncan's parents on the way out.
      Blade: Hey, you know that kid of yours, he's going make one hell of a homey! Nice cups.
      Mr. John Pinderhughes: Did he say...homo?!
      Mrs. Julie Pinderhughes: *gasp*
  • Much Ado About Nothing: In an attempt to be flirtatious with Duncan (i.e Blade), Ellen recites "I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes..."
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Duncan and "Let's make bacon!" Ellen.
  • No Name Given: Ms. Brown aka Blade's Mom.
  • Odd Couple: Blade, the street savvy delinquent and Duncan, the awkward genius.
  • On One Condition: In order for Blade to get out of jail, he had to graduate high school.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Blade, Wedge, Popsicle, Fruity and Go-Go.
  • Pimped-Out Car: Blade's precious Lucille, he proudly explains all the customizations that were done to her. He forces Duncan to drive it and threatens him not to get one scratch on her or they're going back to wood shop.
  • Product Placement: Coca-Cola
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: The Wax Museum chase.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: An order given by Ellen and Damita to their respective partners.
  • Sidekick: Popsicle, who will hang out with anyone that he considers cool.
  • Swapped Roles: Theme of the movie.
  • Sweet Tooth: Popsicle, who is always seen sucking on a lollipop.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Mr. Mink
  • That Came Out Wrong: Duncan's first time at a club and trying to talk to the opposite sex.
    Duncan: Do you come a lot- I mean do you come here a lot?
  • The Bully: Wedge the Jerk Jock.
  • The Nicknamer: Popsicle, who will happily spout out a bunch of titles for anyone, even if they don't want it.
  • The Narrator: Duncan at the beginning and end of the movie.
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: Going from Straight A Genius to Hardcore Criminal in one day, and vice-versa.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Tommy and Tyrone, Mr. Mink's hired goons.
  • Traumatic Haircut: As Blade's parole officer, Reichert, stands up to leave he tells Blade that the judge has arranged a special parting gift for him. Blade thinks he will be getting new shoes but it turns out it is a haircut, proceeded by a long drawn out F-Bomb.
  • Twinkle Smile: Duncan receiving Blade's gold-tooth, complete with audible gleam.

ChaplinFilms of the 1990sCool World

alternative title(s): Class Act
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