An old favorite for you tonight!
School of Rock (2003) Dir. Richard Linklater Writ. Mike White Stars: Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack Rated PG-13 (... seriously? *sigh* Oh MPAA) 108 mins. Comedy IMDB: 7.1
This one is a classic. You can’t go wrong with School of Rock.
What I love most about this movie isn’t Jack Black being utterly hilarious with his insane facial expressions that are WONDERFUL. It isn’t the little kids rocking out like full on rock stars at the age of 10ish. It isn’t even the absurdity of the situation that makes it really fun to watch.
What I love most about this movie is that it’s very Mr. Rogers, it’s very ‘everybody’s different but that’s all cool’. You see a dude with no experience with kids connecting with them because he’s an adult dreamer in a world where other adults tell him to get over it and accept normality, which he refuses. Dewey then uses this rejection of ‘stay in your little neat file folder and accept it’ to teach these kids who have very rigid, structured lives (as far as we see) to find their inner creativity and explore it! He teaches them to channel their emotions into creativity, which is something absolutely overlooked in most kids lives! And not just that, the messages in this movie are so positive for kids!
Sure, I don’t mean ‘run away with your crazy teacher and do a rock show!’ but little things. Like the stereotypical ‘femme’ boy asking “Can I be the band stylist instead?” and Dewey just goes ‘Of course you can’. He doesn’t make a face or hesitate, he just rolls with it with zero reaction to a little boy wanting to do something stereotypically feminine. Or when Tamika comes to him and thinks people won’t like her singing because she’s fat. His immediate reaction is to be all “no way!” and point out how being fat never held back Aretha Franklin, or how he was fat and nobody cared. And when she asked why he didn’t go on a diet, he says “Because I like to eat!” It may seem inconsequential, but studies show that a large percentage of girls 10 years old have already started dieting, so the message that ‘hey, some people are fat, so what? You can still sing really well!’ is a great message to have. There are tons of examples of teaching kids to believe in themselves, or to find their inner creativity, or to raise their self confidence.
And beyond the wonderful messages in this movie, it’s just funny. It’s hilarious. The kids are hilarious, Jack Black is hilarious, and the whole situation is hilarious. This is a great family movie, in my opinion, and even though it’s PG-13 for some stupid reason (probably the reference to a teacher being on crack), it’s a wonderful movie for kids.
My Rating: 8/10