Movie review of “The Preppie Connection”: Thomas Mann, the invisible “me” of “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” plays a preppie drug dealer in this mid-1980s tale of class warfare. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.
Thomas Mann, the invisible “me” of last year’s “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” plays a drug dealer in “The Preppie Connection.” It’s based on a mid-1980s American prep school that was exposed by “60 Minutes” and its CBS reporter, Ed Bradley, who appears briefly.
Mann’s character, Tobias, is a poor kid whose mother pulls strings to get him into a wealth-dominated, hazing-happy campus. He quickly falls for Alex (Lucy Fry), a manipulative blond bombshell already involved with an obnoxious preppie.
Hoping to establish some cash flow and impress Alex, Tobias sets up a cocaine ring on campus that eventually takes him to Cartel Land (a few scenes were shot in Puerto Rico) and some sweat-inducing U.S. Customs inspections.
Movie Review ★★½
‘The Preppie Connection,’ with Thomas Mann, Lucy Fry, Bill Sage. Directed by Joseph Castelo, from a screenplay by Castelo and Ashley Rudden. 95 minutes. Rated R for drug use throughout, language, sexuality/nudity and some violence. Sundance Cinemas (21+).
Before you can say “class warfare,” the kids are using their families (and all that easy drug money) to turn on each other.
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The script’s first half is vigorous enough, with Mann playing Tobias as an extension of the confrontation-avoiding, self-deprecating hero of “Me and Earl” (“The Preppie Connection” almost suggests a sequel). But the movie needs the audacity of a “Trainspotting” to lift it above the norm.