Hey, guess what? High school sucked. And even if your high school experience wasn’t as rotten and wicked as the ones experienced by the characters that populate Gia Coppola‘s Palo Alto, it seems highly likely that you’ll still find plenty to both relish and revolt from in the filmmaker’s debut feature. This isn’t everyone‘s high school experience, but it’s certainly someone’s. Coppola adapted some of the short story work of James Franco, who also co-stars in the film, for her first feature, and if nothing else, it sure makes Franco’s written work appear instantly compelling. It’s fairly obvious that the film has been cobbled together from assorted stories, as there is a lackadaisical nature to the connections between characters and plots that doesn’t seem exactly lazy, but is undoubtedly the product of some disconneted source material. At its heart, Palo Alto is about the almost-not-quite relationship between April (Emma Roberts, who is just excellent) and Teddy (Jack Kilmer), a pair of high school students who are prone to getting into spats of trouble, or at least hanging around people who don’t have their best interests at heart. There’s a lot of ill-advised hanging around in Palo Alto.