By Mark Bell | October 18, 2010

“Level Up” is like an episode of “Dawson’s Creek,” particularly from the first season, where main character Dawson hasn’t realized that his best friend Joey loves him and he instead awkwardly pursues the pretty new girl in town, Jen. In fact, it’s damn close to that synopsis, but in this case Dawson is a socially awkward video gamer named Tim (Leo Koorhan), Joey is his best friend, and also a video gamer, named Maggie (Laura Piccoli) and instead of the pretty new girl being called Jen, her name is Amanda (Mia Vallet)

I know that sounds dismissive to sum the film up in that way, but it’s not an original premise in the least and, therefore, is extremely predictable. Luckily, the actors manage to make this more than just by-the-numbers, derivative fare by at least keeping your attention for the short duration of the film. It’s simply cute, and while there is a place for “cute” in film, that place is currently not with me. Again, this film could be an episode of some high school drama, and those are obviously still appreciated, but, for me, I’ve seen this story too many times that, if it’s not an amazing spin on the basic tale, it’s not going to impress me much.

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