|The School of Rock|
For a silly kids' comedy, this is exceptionally well-made. White's clever script is both sharply funny and extremely telling, plotted predictably yet brilliantly resisting or redefining cliches along the way. A lot of the credit must go to Black, who was clearly allowed to run wild as a man who refuses to grow up. While he sometimes drifts into John Belushi-in-Animal House mayhem, he also keeps the character grounded enough so we can identify with him in his efforts to rebel against the constrictions of 'the man'. And this is the area where Cusack shines as the school's nervous principal;she's perhaps the best actress on earth at playing uptight women who bury their wild-child deep within! Credit to her and the filmmakers that they refuse to make her the cartoon character she could so easily have become. Linklater has never made a film even remotely this commercial, but he always approaches his characters this organically, creating people who seem so real it's almost scary. And in this case it's also quite good fun.
dir Richard Linklater|
scr Mike White
with Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White, Sarah Silverman, Miranda Cosgrove, Joey Gaydos Jr, Kevin Clark, Robert Tsai, Maryam Hassan, Rebecca Brown, Caitlin Hale, Aleisha Allen
release US 3.Oct.03; UK 6.Feb.04
Let's start a rock band! Black confers with backup singers Hale and Allen
|Bill C, net: "I can't get enough. Jack Black and those kids are incredible together. The song at the end was great. One question: are the kids in the School of Rock band considering playing together again and what are they doing today?" (9.Mar.04)|