I never liked gym but, oh, I DO like Gym Teacher, lots
Dave Stewie (Christopher Meloni) is a well-liked junior high school gym teacher. Even the female principal (Amy Sedaris) adores him, perhaps too much. One day, the sports network announces a competition between 8th grade gym classes and Stewie is urged to enter his class. But, alas, just at that moment, Dave gets a new student, Roland (Nathan Kress) who is as uncoordinated as they come. This is, in part, because his widowed teacher mother, Winnie (Chelah Hersdal) has been overprotective. Her husband, you see, died in a tragic potato sack race and she makes Roland stay out of sports and wear a protective helmet at all times. The rules of the competition state that all members of the class have to be included in the games. So, the only solution is for Dave to try to train Roland, in secret, and finish the contest before Winnie finds out. This proves even harder than normal because Dave and Winnie are already "stepping out" together, liking what they see in each other. How will Stewie's team fare in the sports meet, especially when an old rival (David Alan Grier) is the gym teacher at a competing school? This film is what the Beach Boys would describe as "fun, fun, fun". Meloni turns in a fine comic performance, different from his crime show straight roles, and Sedaris is also very funny. Hersdal makes a lovely romantic interest while the rest of the cast, including the young Kress and old pro Grier, are pleasurable, too. As a Nickleodeon movie, it has a nice look, script, and zestful direction. My only quibble was, near the end, one of the youngsters throws a helmet at a player on the opposing team, without consequences. So, while his frustration is understandable, his actions are not sportsmanlike and should have been penalized. However, this is minor and can be talked out with any children who sit down for a view. All in all, although gym class usually makes a lot of kids groan, everyone in the family will enjoy this Gym Teacher.
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