A rock-star wannabe takes a substitute teaching job out of desperation and teaches the kids to ROCK.
The thing you have to understand is this: as much as Mr. Otter loves, adores and venerates the genre of musical theater…his hatred of rock music (or anything of any genre he THINKS is rock music) is by far the greater of the two.
So when I came home from work and found that he had brought this dvd home from the library…well, I was surprised, to say the least.
It’s rock music, you know. And Jack Black. Said I.
It’s a musical, he said. And Jack Black was pretty good as Orson Welles in that recent King Kong movie. And he was in The Cradle Will Rock
Yes, I said, but he’s in all those icky twentysomething comedies too…althought I did like him in King Kong as well. But whatev, it’s a musical and I (unlike some here) love rock music.
So we decided to do a double bill with Hairspray. This one was the second, and, as will often happen with library DVDs, about a quarter of the way through…it started skipping and stopping. We tried all our cleaning and coaxing tricks…no use. It just would not play.
And by that point, we were both so charmed by this movie that I actually got out of my jammies, got dressed, drove to our local emporium du movie rental…and paid to rent it. We didn’t even want to wait for Netflix to get it to us.
Because, rock music notwithstanding (or, in my opinion, because of the rock music) this was a wonderful movie. Jack Black works perfectly with these grades-obsessed overacheiving yuppie kids, brings them together and instills a love of rock music and of (more importantly) doing what you love to do into them.
Added bonus: a brief librarian sighting, at the lunch table with all the teachers. At least she doesn’t have her hair in a bun, but it’s just two seconds.
Sure, it’s a typical musical plot: hey kids, let’s work together and win the (big prize/contest). Problems and roadblocks. People threaten to quit. The plan is found out. But finally, the big day dawns…and whether they win or not, the group shows its stuff.
Plus, of course, there was the fun of seeing these overpreppied kids playing/listening to/loving classic rock. None of which Mr. Otter got…but when they all started singing the intro to the Immigrant Song in the van, I was indeed laughing so hard I was falling off the couch.
A charming movie, made well and with a satisfying ending. Certainly worth seeing, if not owning.