Life in the trenches of that most honorable and frustrating profession...teaching. It's the start of a memorable new year at Harrison High. The self-conscious Mr. Stroope is convinced that his time has come - this year he will be furnished with the golden title of "Teacher of the Year," if only his smarter students would stop using words that he can't understand. Peek into Mr. Lowrey's History class and you'll see that he's struggling to even call himself a teacher. Woefully inept due to a complete lack of experience and social skills, he earnestly stutters his way through class. The only interaction his students offer him is when they steal his chalk. Men aren't much interested in the spunky and officious Coach Webb, but "not all P.E. teachers are gay" and she pines for some romantic company. Her once best friend, the newly appointed assistant principal, Mrs. Reddell, doesn't seem to have time for her either, as her new power post is all-consuming; battling egos, enduring teacher ... Written by
I saw this at the LA Film Festival, and it's a funny peek at the lives of teachers, from a point of view you don't often see.
According to the festival literature, it was written and directed by actual former teachers, so as you can imagine there is a lot of inside stuff that we may not have seen before, that is both sad and funny.
The plot, such as it is, follows four new teachers at a high school in Texas during their first year, and all the trials and tribulations they encounter. I didn't recognize any of the cast, I think the kids may have been real students, but that didn't matter to me. Like 'The Office', it shows the ineptitude and struggle to make sense of ridiculous things, like school policy, and people desperate to win 'teacher of the year'. It's funny and heartfelt, and reminded me of a Christopher Guest film in that it felt ad-libbed more than scripted.
I ended up feeling great affection for these people, and thought the film was very good.
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