Bestselling author James Patterson’s hit series-turned-movie Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life makes its way to Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand January 3, 2017. As the movie’s title leads you to believe, the film follows a middle schooler named Rafe through an unbelievably challenging school year. This funny family comedy occasionally mixes animation in between live action scenes and Lionsgate has shared an exclusive clip about one animated sequence titled “Wedgie Death Struggle” with GeekDad.
If you’re not familiar with the movie, here’s a summary:
Rafe has an epic imagination…and a slight problem with authority. Both collide when he transfers to a rule-crazy middle school. Drowning in do’s and don’ts, Rafe and his best friend Leo hatch a plan to expose the principal by breaking every rule in the school’s Code of Conduct. As the principal strikes back, Rafe’s world, at home and at school, explodes into hilarious chaos (both real and imagined) in this laugh-filled family comedy based on James Patterson’s best-selling book series.
I’ll admit, finding a movie that my whole family can enjoy together is a tough task. If you exclude 100% animated movies from the mix, it gets even harder. When the chance to review Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life for GeekDad came across my desk, I eagerly accepted to see if this movie had what it takes. While we hadn’t yet read the book series in my house, my daughters (11 and 7) were already fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and movies and this one seemed to have a similar tone. My hunch was right, and this one was right up our alley.
While Griffin Gluck does a great job portraying the main character (Rafe), the real standout in this movie is Andy Daly who, as Principle Dwight, makes life absolutely miserable for his students. Even though some of the pranks defy reality, the whole family found ourselves laughing at some of the results. Lauren Graham and Rob Riggle are great additions to the cast, as always, and the shift from live action to animations of Rafe’s drawings don’t seem out of place. Even though the movie is a comedy, there is a plot twist that punches you in the gut and several awkward middle school scenarios that hit close to home. As a critical movie reviewer, I’ll admit this movie probably won’t be at the top of many award season lists, but looking at it through the lens of a family film, it really is fun to watch.
Having survived middle school myself (barely) and now as a parent to a middle schooler, I can honestly say this movie touches on many memorable aspects of those dreaded years. Whether those moments will make you cringe, long for simpler times, or make you laugh out loud this movie does all three. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand January 3, 2017.
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Special Features
• “That Middle School Life” Featurette
• “Middle School = The Worst / Making Movies = The Best” Featurette
• “The Wedgie Wheel” Featurette
• “Yolo: Behind Operation Rafe” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes
Disclosure: I received a copy of this film for review purposes. All opinions are my own