School of Rock


U.S.A.| 2003. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 108 mins.

Undaunted by the failure of 1998’s The Newton Boys— a traditional genre piece about a pair of Bonnie and Clydetype criminals—Linklater finally scored a commercial hit with this endearing mainstream comedy. Although he manages to make it seem like a personal film, Linklater was in fact hired to direct a cannily commercial script by Mike White, about a rock ‘n’ roll loser (Jack Black) who, fired from his job and his band, impersonates his wimpy substitute teacher roommate to land a teaching position at an upscale elementary school. This infantile slacker hasn’t got a thought in his head except for rock music (‘I serve society by rocking’), but somehow he becomes a model teacher, and through stealth and sheer perseverance he turns his class into an inspired gang of rockers. The kids, who all perform their own music, are wonderful, and so is Black. It’s ironic that Linklater should be the director to show modern Hollywood how to make a feel-good yet wholly unpatronising comedy with mass appeal.

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