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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'School of Rock': The Wildly Enthusiastic Story of a Misfit Posing as a Private School Music Teacher

Movie poster for the 2003 film School of Rock

School of Rock (2003) is a spirited and oft-hilarious story of a failing musician and overall slacker named Dewey Finn (Jack Black) who masquerades as a music teacher at an elite private school. Desperate to earn a living wage after being dismissed from his floundering rock band, Dewey seizes the opportunity to impersonate his roommate Ned Schneebly (Mike White) as Horace Green School's new music instructor.

Taking the reins of his 4th grade class and adopting the moniker "Mr. S", Dewey explodes upon the scene with an unmitigated enthusiasm for rock and roll and a spirit of rebelliousness. After initially confounding his mannerly prep students with his wild antics, Dewey gradually instills a newfound appreciation for popular music as an antidote to the undue stress wrought by strict parents and a rigorous academic culture. With an eye on the various talents he has before him, Dewey hones in on a local "Battle of the Bands" competition as an opportunity to showcase his young prodigies before a live audience—all the while avoiding the scrutiny of parents and school administrators alike.

Written by Mike White (The Good Girl, The White Lotus) and directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Boyhood), School of Rock is a lively tale of unconventional edification. Black carries the show with his madcap persona—delivering a palpable energy to the proceedings and imbuing the storyline with irresistible (and audacious) charm. An audience-friendly escapade reliant on a familiar story arc yet brimming with extraordinary charm, it's one of the most enjoyable American comedies of the past 20 years.


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