Devon Cavanor (Chloe Rose) is use to getting her own way, so when science teacher Gilbert Adkins (Rob Stewart - My Mother's Secret) gave her a lower grade than she wanted she decided to ruin him by accusing him of inappropriate sexual behaviour, tricking the new girl in school Traci Scott (Erin Sanders) to back up her story. Feeling bad when Mr. Adkins gets sacked, Traci feels even worse when she learns that he committed suicide which is compounded by her father suffering a heart attack. It leads to Traci struggling to cope with things and opening up to the new teacher, June (Alex Paxton-Beesley - The Perfect Soulmate), who has started at the school. Except June is keeping a secret, she is Gilbert Adkins' daughter who is trying to get to the truth over what happened. Meanwhile Devon and her boyfriend, fearing that the truth will get out, decide they need to take matters in to their own hands when it comes to Traci.
If I was in charge of green-lighting what movies got made and I had been handed the script for "Guilty at 17" I would have asked for a few amendments but would have eventually said yes. Those amendments would have included dropping the whole father has a heart attack sub plot because it isn't truly important whilst I wouldn't have the teacher committing suicide because it is over kill, but for the most I would have said yes. Unfortunately I wouldn't have been impressed with the final product as we are served up with excruciating stereotypes whose annoying habits end up contributing to what is wrong with "Guilty at 17".
The thing is the basic storyline to "Guilty at 17" has potential, the idea of a popular and spoilt school girl tricking the new girl in to lying for her makes sense as we learn that Traci doesn't feel she has friends in the school. And the whole idea of a scheming queen b, who having got away with what she likes outside of school, having no control over her vile plans whilst OTT is entertaining. But the ideas are never fully developed and instead we have cliches tossed in to the mix which really let the movie down. As does the over dominant soundtrack which ends up as annoying as some of the actor's voices are.
But here is my big issue with "Guilty at 17"; stereotypes and cliches. Take Devon, here we have an attractive young woman with piercing eyes, who flicks her hair all the time and has every single characteristic of an stereotypical school bitch, but all those characteristic make her a walking talking cliche. It is the same through out with Traci being the cliche, gullible good girl.
What this all boils down to is that "Guilty at 17" has a good storyline at its heart, but it is a movie ruined by relying on cliches and stereotypes which make it frequently feel forced especially when you stop to listen to the dialogue.