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
Skylar Astin's first appearance in a movie. See more »
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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This is not a review of the overall movie but instead a review of one (significant) part: Elisabeth Shue. Although she's just a secondary character in the film, I found myself riveted to her performance and laughing riotously at everything she did. She's now officially my favourite actress, and if you see this film there's a good chance she may become yours too.
This is more than just random praise for one of the performers. Actually her character is very relevant to the story. HAMLET 2 is about a washed-up, mediocre actor (played by Coogan) who believes enthusiasm is more important than talent. With a ridiculously optimistic attitude despite a life of failure, he embarks on putting together the most ambitious play ever made: a sequel to Hamlet. The movie is full of madcap situations, and often it borders on utterly absurd. But this is where Shue's character comes in. Playing herself as a fellow "washed-up, mediocre actor" (which is hilarious considering how successful she is in real life), she plays the role with deadpan sobriety. She becomes the "straight man" which is the glue that holds this story together. Shue is the reference point without which the film would spiral into a silly romp.
Movies where actors play themselves with hilarious results:
BEING JOHN MALKOVICH with John Malkovich
COFFEE & CIGARETTES with Steve Coogan, Cate Blanchett, etc
KING OF COMEDY with Jerry Lewis (aka Jerry "Langford")
HAMLET 2 with Elisabeth Shue
See them all. You won't be disappointed!
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