In this irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama-teacher rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Dana Marschz is a failed actor and recovering alcoholic who's moved to Tucson to teach high school drama, where he's plagued by bad reviews, student indifference, budget woes (he and his wife, who is trying to get pregnant, take in a boarder), and his own teaching limitations. Because the other electives are closed, he finds himself with a large class of seeming gang-bangers, and the principal informs him that drama will be cut next trimester. On the advice of a student reviewer, Dana decides to stage his own play, a sequel to "Hamlet" in which the prince and Jesus, with the use of a time machine, try to save Gertrude and Ophelia. Can Dana for once pull something off? Written by
When Brie Marschz (Catherine Keener) and Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) are arguing in the Mexican restaurant in the middle of their argument, the margarita glass disappears when the camera cuts to Catherine and returns when the camera cuts back to Dana. See more »
To act is to live.
[followed by a commercial for "Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer"]
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Ah, how refreshing to find a comedy that isn't just gross-out gags, sentimental chick flick trash, or predictable Hollywood tripe... while Hamlet 2 isn't brilliant, and it isn't the funniest thing I've seen ever, it certainly carries its own, and this is largely in part due to Steve Coogan's performance.
Coogan is amazing as the fruity drama teacher who's life is falling apart. His shows are getting panned by a snarky underclassman, his marriage is falling apart, and he is totally uninspired. Through a series of events, he has an all-out crisis, but in a clever switch on the teacher inspires the students genre (Stand and Deliver, Higher Education), the students rally in their own way to help him create his masterpiece - Hamlet 2.
Hamlet 2 is ferociously politically incorrect, and this leads to the principal and some members of the community to try to close down the show, the ACLU (Amy Poehler!) gets involved, and the final performance of the show is a little bit mind blowing... ah, Sexy Jesus.
Yes, this is stuff we've all seen before, but Coogan's performance and his supporting cast, along with solid writing make this a Hollywood comedy that is actually funny.
Since it doesn't have any big stars, and it is a bit atypical, Hamlet 2 will probably fall by the wayside, but don't miss it if you've got the chance - there is hope for comedy yet!
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