Class Warfare (2001, directed by Richard Shepard)


Kristen Marshall (Lindsey McKeon) is a rich high school girl with a problem.  She’s not rich anymore!  Her parents have lost all of their money due to a shady business deal and now, Kristen might not even be able to afford to go to Harvard!  Even the fact that she’s the senior class president and drives an expensive car might not be enough to convince those Boston brahmins to give her a scholarship.  Looking to get away from all of her problems, Kristen and her boyfriend, Jason (Wade Carpenter), decide to spend the weekend at their friend Graham’s (Dave McGowan) lakehouse.  Kristen, however, is upset to discover that Graham has also invited Richard Ashbury (Robin Dunne).

Richard is a high school activist, a self-professed Socialist who spends his time putting up flyers for a food and clothing drive.  Kristen first met Richard when she accidentally hits him with her car.  (Kristen was in a hurry and she didn’t notice Richard riding by on his bicycle.)  Though Richard was uninjured, Kristen’s car was slightly dented and Richard told her that he was sure that her family would be able to pay for it.  Now, Kristen is stuck spending the weekend with him and, to make things even worse, Richard looks at a newspaper and discovers that he has got a winning lottery ticket.  As soon as the weekend ends, he’ll turn in the ticket and get $25 million dollars!  Meanwhile, Kristen is having nightmares about her guidance counselor denying her application for a college loan while Richard lights a cigar with a hundred dollar bill!

Eager to that get that ticket for herself, Kristen first tries to seduce Richard.  When that doesn’t work, Kristen orders Jason to kill him.

Class Warfare definitely has a made-for-TV look about it but, when taken on its own terms, it’s not bad.  Lindsey McKeon is an effective villain and the other actors are all credible in their roles, even if it’s obvious that most of them haven’t been in high school for a good couple of years.  The movie’s class warfare theme was sometimes simplistic but the film still did a good job of ratcheting up the stakes as one mistake led to another.  Nowadays, people take the lottery for granted but Class Warfare does capture that moment when people really did feel like their lives could be changed in an instant.

Class Warfare was produced by the USA Network and originally aired on December 24th, 2001.  I guess that was USA’s way of saying, “Merry Christmas!”

One response to “Class Warfare (2001, directed by Richard Shepard)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 7/4/22 — 7/10/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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