A Fairytale in Social Class

A person like you could never understand a person like me - Kylie Burch

Jodi Lyn O'Keefe in Class (2010)

As the son of wealthy Benjamin Sheffield (Eric Roberts), Whitt (Justin Bruening) has had his life mapped out for him and is in the final year of law school before becoming a corporate lawyer for his dad. It is why when his class tutor forces him to take on a public interest case in the shape of single mum Kylie Burch (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe) he is less than impressed as not only does he struggle to see the point of doing public interest but doesn't see why he should help those who are worse off than him. But despite a rough start Whitt discovers what a difference he can make in Kylie's life and her son Shane (Maxwell Perry Cotton) whilst he also realises what a difference she is making in his as they become close.

So "Class" is one of those movies you might not have seen before but when you watch it you will feel like you have. It is because "Class" uses that old story of social divide and romance just dressed up in different clothes. As such we have the wealthy and driven Whitt becoming close to poor single mum Kylie when he is forced by his lecturer to help her. What follows from Kylie not wanting to get close because she is cautious to Whitt dealing with the social implications of falling for someone from a lower class is text book stuff. And as such how this romantic drama ends up is also quite predictable and to be frank delivers the movie's cheesiest scene.

Justin Bruening in Class (2010)

But despite being predictable "Class" still works because it is pleasant, simple, charming and innocent. I suppose it comes down to the fact we warm to the characters especially Kylie as we understand her situation. From being cautious and not wanting to get emotionally hurt to her toughness when dealing with those who look down their noses at her. Considering "Class" is a TV movie and a predictable one Kylie is more than just a flat character and Jodi Lyn O'Keefe does a nice job of playing her.

At the same time Justin Bruening does a nice job of playing Whitt from being the spoilt rich kid at law school to the more humble young man who realises how much it means to Kylie when she gets work. You quickly grow to like Whitt as he opens up about his own insecurities from having a demanding father and a mother who he sees as just an alcoholic. And what is nice when it comes to Whitt's story is that his understanding of life guided via his father's thinking changes and so does his perception of his mother.

It is this depth which means that whilst of the surface "Class" is just a predictable romantic drama which comes very close to being fairytale like it draws you in to the characters even though they are cliches. And it is because we have these characters we grow to like that flaws such as poor dialogue and the occasionally cheesy scene can be forgiven.

What this all boils down to is that "Class" is a pleasant surprise because on the surface it is just a romantic drama which delivers a familiar story about romance between different social classes. But then because we have characters which have depth it becomes more interesting as we become involved in their lives even if they are cliches.

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