out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
School Of Rock
Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4
If you saw "High Fidelity," you may remember Jack Black as John Cusack's
music-obsessed buddy. In "Shallow Hal," he was the guy who fell hopelessly in
love with Gwyneth Paltrow. Or you might know him as the lead singer for the
rock-folk parody group "Tenacious D."
Now Jack Black's center-stage as Dewey Finn, a slovenly, obnoxious bass
guitarist. On the same day, he's fired from his own garage-band and evicted by
his roommate (Mike White). Desperate and delusional, he scams a job as a
substitute teacher at the proper, prestigious Horace Green Elementary School,
run by prim Rosalie Mullins (Joan Cusack). A slacker who's content to doze,
he's appalled when his yuppified, over-achieving fifth-grade students cite
Christina Aguilera, Liza Minnelli and the musical "Annie" as their musical
influences. Discovering that some of the shy, 10 year-old nerds have real
musical talent, he decides to create his own pint-sized musical group and enter
an upcoming Battle of the Bands. "I serve society by rocking!" the rebellious
Dewey says, turning his home-room into "The School of Rock."
After years of creating quirky films for art-house theaters, independent
director Richard Linklater ("Waking Life," "Dazed and Confused") and
screenwriter Mike White ("The Good Girl") have come up with a hip, really
commercial concept. There's satirical humor and there's joyous heart. And by
casting moppets with real musical talent, there's a core of authenticity
beneath the obvious fantasy. Above all, there's charismatic Jack Black whose
Dewey Finn evokes memories of Prof. Harold Hill in "The Music Man." On the
Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "School of Rock" is a cool, fun-filled 8 - and
recommended for the whole family.
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
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