If you went to the
movies in the early ‘40s, you were sure to hear Mickey Rooney say to
Judy Garland, “Let’s put on a show!”
Judy would say OK and these teenagers would put on a show that
would make Hollywood proud. If
you go to the movies in 2003, you’ll hear Dewey Finn (Jack Black), in
lieu of teaching them the three R’s (which he couldn’t do if his
life depended on it), say to a classroom full of precocious
fifth-graders at an exclusive school, “Let’s go to The Battle of the
it, this is ridiculous. Dewey’s training these kids to go up against
hard rockers, not appear on Art Linkletter’s Kids Say The Darndest
Things, or Mr. Rogers. Even so, I defy anyone to see this movie and not come out
feeling good. Dewey is a
mediocre guitarist/lead singer who is fired from his band and takes a
job as a substitute teacher in an elite grammar school to get the money
to pay his buddy, Ned Schneebly (Mike White) and his buddy’s girl
friend, Patti DiMarco (Sharon Siverman), his share of the rent.
masquerading as Ned and has to convince the Principal, Rosalie Mullins
(Joan Cusack) that he’s a real teacher.
Everybody’s good in this.
Black is hilarious. White is loveably weak as Schneebly,
Dewey’s easily-manipulated buddy. Silverman does a wonderful job as Schneedbly’s controlling,
bitchy livein girl friend, Patti. And
Cusack is just perfect as uptight Principal Rosalie.
good acting, good script, ridiculous premise, good music (if you like
rock) equals entertaining movie.