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At a Pennsylvania college, Charlie Thurber is a good teacher without publications. His tenure review is in three months, and he's trying to get an article in print. Out of the blue, the dean announces that a new assistant professor will join them, a scholarly young woman from Yale. Charlie now faces competition. His best friend Jay, an anthropologist looking for Sasquatch, urges Charlie to declare war on the new colleague. He gives in to his better judgment and goes along. Meanwhile, his father hates the local assisted living facility where he lives, Charlie tries to connect with a woman he sees on television, and one of his students makes a pass. Is tenure in the works? Written by
Pleasant comedy-romance for fans of the genre and cast
Charlie Thurber (Luke Wilson) is an English professor at a small, New England college. Although his students love and learn from him, his possible tenure is in doubt. This is because of the "publish or perish" unwritten law that is prevalent in American academia. So far, Charlie is having trouble getting his essays into an admired journal. To complicate things, his father is in an extended care facility nearby, due to early dementia, but, Charlie is not visiting him often enough. This has angered his sister and upset his dad, who was also a prof and likes to converse with his son. A colleague, Jay (David Koechner), an unorthodox science instructor in search of a bigfoot-type local monster, is also up for tenure. Now, the dean lures a Yale-educated English academic, Elaine Grasso (Gretchen Mol) to the department, further complicating Charlie's quest for tenure. Jay suggests that the two males mildly "sabotage" Elaine's adjustment to the school, by arranging to make her look bad in front of others, especially the dean. This involves everything from implicating her in a "cola" theft in the staff room to questioning her school loyalty at the college basketball game, where Elaine inadvertently sat on the opposing team's side. But, wait, does Charlie really want to drive Elaine away, since she's so smart and pretty and he's single? For those who love comedy-romance, here is another sweet view. Wilson's dry, understated humor is always welcome while Mol is a lovely romantic interest. The rest of the cast, including Koechner, are wonderfully supportive. The beautiful east coast college campus will surely bring sighs of admiration and the costumes, script, photography, and steady direction are quite fine as well. Get Tenure, therefore, all you usual fan suspects.
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