Dewey Finn (Jack Black) is having a rough time. He is fired from his own rock band and his best friend Ned Schneedbly (Mike White) is throwing him out of his apartment for not paying the rent. Dewey still dreams of making it big in the rock world and winning “Battle of the Bands”. One day Dewey answers the phone to a call from Principal Mullins (Joan Cusack) offering Ned a job as a substitute teacher. Dewey decides to take the job himself under the guise of being his friend so he can pay his rent and avoid eviction. Dewey is put in charge of teaching fifth grade in one of the top elementary schools. He has no interest in teaching and just lets the children have recess all day until one day when he sees them at music class and begins to form an idea about a band…
Jack Black plays this part with great enthusiasm. His energy is fantastic, and it is clear that the character of Dewey is not a million miles from Jack himself. He has an excellent rock voice and really throws himself (literally) into the part of “rocker”. His enthusiasm in getting the band together is infectious, you come out of the movie singing!!
The children are very cute and interact well with Jack. The lead guitar player and keyboard player are the most unlikely looking “rockers” ever imaginable but this only adds to the charm of the film as they unwind and catch the rocking bug.
Joan Cusack plays the part of strict principal to a tee. The children and teachers are terrified of her. She is very deadpan which adds to the comedy.
Ned Schneedbly (Mike White who also wrote the film) plays the part of Dewey’s passive friend perfectly – you cringe for him when he is torn between his best friend and his girlfriend.
Bottom Line: If you enjoyed films like Sister Act or The Commitments you will enjoy this. My only criticism is that I found it to be slightly predictable. A feel good movie that will get you rocking!