After being kicked out of his own band, struggling guitar player Dewey Finn (played by Jack Black) needs to find a way to make money. Luckily Dewey’s friend and roommate Ned Schneebly (played by Mike White) is a teacher currently working his way through substituting trying to find a full time teaching position, and when Dewey picks up an emergency call for Ned from a prestigious prep school he pretends to be Ned and takes the position. The position is to substitute in a grade 5 class, and although Dewey starts out just being there for the paycheck he soon learns of the childrens musical talents and decides to use them to form a band to compete in the “Battle of the Bands”. From here you watch Dewey grow from simply using these kids, too actually caring about them and just wanting to inspire them. Although most of the children from this film were actually musicians that auditioned for the roles this film also stars: Sarah Silverman as Patty Di Marco (Ned’s controlling fiancé), Joan Cusack as Rosalie Mullins (the principal if the school), and debuts Miranda Cosgrove as Summer Hathaway (an ambitious student and band manager).
I think this may have to be one of my all time favorite movies. I loved it as a kid when it came out, I love it now, and Jack Black is amazing in this. I think one of the things that makes this movie so great and successful is how it plays off of people’s fantasy of being a rock star which is a mix of popularity and living a life where you don’t have to worry about lifes regular problems (like bills or a regular job). To be honest I’m finding it very hard to explain why I like this movie so much, between the characters and the music I just enjoy every moment of this film.
I think that my favorite part of School of Rock is their Battle of the Bands performance, and I think this is due to a mix of nostalgia from watching the film as a child and how cool the concept of all these young kids playing a major rock show is. The one thing that throws me now though is how they are suppose to be a grade 5 class, but watching it they seem much older. To me it would have made more sense for them to be in grade 7 or 8 only because this would still make them young, but they would be a few years more mature and independent.
A big part of this movie is the soundtrack, which includes:
- “Substitute” by The Who
- “Fight” by No Vacancy
- “Touch Me” by The Doors
- “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream
- “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin (how they were able to use this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlk8DhHYDNw)
- “Set You Free” by The Black Keys
- “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks
- “Heal Me, Im Heartsick” by No Vacancy
- “Growing on Me” by The Darkness
- “Ballrooms of Mars” by T. Rex
- “My Brain is Hanging Upside Down” by the Ramones
Most of the music in this movie was inspired by Jack Black’s taste so that he could relate to the music and more accurately portray its attitudes. It is interesting to watch the montage of Jack Black teaching the kids the history of rock and then watch a documentary like “Metal: AHeadbanger’s Journey” and “Global Metal” where they portray almost the same passion as Dewey has and show you the importance of the growth of music and how it affects pop culture.
I have always wanted to see a sequel for this movie and in 2008 it seemed like it was going to happen, but after it feel through there hasn’t been very much talk of a sequel. In 2012 Jack Black was asked about the possibility of a sequel and he said that he didn’t want to make one for the sake of making one and as of right now it did not look like it was going to happen. Although on August 29th 2013 there was a 10th anniversary party for School of Rock where Jack Black did say that it was doubtful but finished with never say never. At this reunion there was not only a Q&A with the cast and crew after screening where the cast went over where their lives had taken them, but they also got back together to perform “School of Rock”, which was amazing to watch but also made me feel old.
All in all I would recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it as a fun comedy that anyone of any age can sit down and enjoy.
Chris - 8/10