Ok, I loved School of Rock
. I have not laughed that hard in... well, possibly in years! Sure, the plot follows the typical underdog-child-performers/athletes formula, where they work really hard, learn more than expected, overcome obstacles as a team, then get shut down, but succeed anyway much to everyone's surprise & delight. (Yeah, yeah, that was a spoiler but you can figure out the basic plotline five minutes into the movie). The good thing was they totally compressed the annoying parts of the formula... the moments when the leader finally loses hope and has to be convinced to go on by the others... the moments when you're just sitting there waiting for them to get up there and strutt their stuff... it's all squished into just a few minutes so you can spend the rest of the movie enjoying the ride! I also have to point out that Dewey Finn spends more time teaching on-screen in this movie than you can catch in a whole season of Boston Public
. And he's pretty good: he models his expectations, he praises the kids, he recognizes the unique and important contribution each can make, he throws grades out the window in favor of authentic, performance-based assessment, not bad for a newbie!
This guy's been teaching real kids rock'n'roll after school for years...