Some Assembly Required is a documentary on six teams of tweens entering a toy design contest. The line “It’s OK to be smart!” is literally what results.
This documentary tricks you into believing it will be great, like its counterpart Spellbound about kids competing in the National Spelling Bee. However, instead of quirky and charming kids, Some Assembly Required found very annoying kids at the peak of what is the most unpleasant time in life. Instead of Spellbound’s interesting adults with various motives surrounding their child in the spelling bee, the adults in this movie are a large cheerleading team. I fast forwarded through minutes of talking heads about how smart/creative/enthusiastic their children are, concluding that they think they have a pretty good chance in the competition. Because there are six teams, this happens six times. Then the benefits of giving children cognitive challenges are stated. For example, a teacher assures us that this is really a fabulous teamwork exercise. Then there are tangents of the unlikeable children playing lacrosse to bad pop music, as if this movie needs to fill time it doesn’t have. Not only are the kids uninteresting, but they’re also not cute. The movie climaxes with the competition results, which are complimented by a solid ten minutes of high-fiving footage. “They’re still winners in our minds,” says adult.
Some Assembly Required
Seattle International Film Festival
Friday, June 13th @ 4 p.m. @ SIFF Cinema
Sunday, June 15th @ 11 a.m. @ SIFF Cinema
Did you see this film? Leave a comment and tell everybody what you thought!