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Down and out rock star Dewey Finn gets fired from his band, and he faces a mountain of debts and depression. He takes a job as a 4th grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school where his attitude and hijinx have a powerful effect on his students. He also meets Zack, a 10-year-old guitar prodigy, who could help Dewey win a "battle of the bands" competition, which would solve his financial problems and put him back in the spotlight. Written by
Finally! Somebody has done right by Jack Black. Somebody has actually made a movie where Jack Black can be the man and show off his talents. This is Jack Black at his best and I feel privileged to be alive while this guy's star continues to skyrocket!
Dewey Finn (Jack Black) loves rock and roll. He is the consummate fan who knows every worthwhile group and song. He is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist in his own band called "No Vacancy." But other members of the group have grown tired of his immature stage antics, such as 20-minute solos and stage-dives. They vote him out and hire someone to replace him for an upcoming Battle of the Bands contest.
Downcast and distraught, Dewey doesn't know what to do. Plus, his usually patient roommate Ned (Mike White), a schoolteacher, is being pressured by his aggressive girlfriend (Sarah Silverman) to make Dewey pay the money he owes for rent or get out. When a call comes in to Ned asking him to serve as a substitute teacher at the prestigious Horace Green Elementary School, Dewey decides to assume his identity and take the job.
Of course, faced with a class of fifth-graders all nicely clothed in their school uniforms, this rocker doesn't have a clue as to what to do. So he tells them to chill out and enjoy some downtime. This scheme works for a little while but then Dewey visits the orchestra class. Lights go off in his head and bingo! -- the new class project is to form a rock band. He decides to teach them everything he knows about rock with lectures on its history, the evils of "The Man," and the essentials of playing rock songs.
Dewey's spirits are lifted when he realizes that there are some talented musicians in the class including Zack (Joey Gaydos, Jr.), the lead guitarist; Katie (Rebecca Brown) on bass; and Lawrence (Robert Tsai) on keyboards. Freddy (Kevin Clark), the class rebel, turns out to be an eager learner on drums, and Tomika (Maryam Hassan) surprises him with her unusual singing talent. The smartest girl in the class, Summer (Miranda Cosgrove), gets her chance to excel as band manager while others serve as back-up singers, special effects wizard, head of security, and the official selectors of the band's name.
The humor quotient of the film is heightened by the funny performance of Joan Cusack as the uptight and unlocked principal of Horace Green Elementary School. When Dewey discovers that she is a secret fan of Fleetwood Mac, they are able to connect as friends. The rock fan gets his wish when he has the class entered in the local Battle of the Bands. By the end of this rollicking film, you'll happily be chanting, "For those about to rock, we salute you!"
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