School’s now in session with Mr. Black

How fun would it be to have had a rock class in elementary school? Jack Black teaches preppy elementary students the true meaning of music class in School of Rock.

The storyline is not complex and there are minor incomplete aspects, but it is nonetheless enjoyable. The film even includes a cast of talented youngsters who play their own instruments.

Unable to pay his share of the rent, Dewey, (Black) a failed rock artist, impersonates one of his old band mates and current roommate Ned Schneebly (Mike White) in order to become a substitute teacher at a private school. As a substitute, Dewey uses the talents of his students to covertly create a rock band while keeping the school’s principal and faculty unaware of his scheme.

Joan Cusack appears as the rule-abiding Principal Rosalie Mullin while Sarah Silverman plays the nagging Patty.

With a simple plot, there are no mysteries to be solved as the film centers on Dewey. His mission: to get money and to start a rock band. The only thing resembling a conflict in the film is the arguments between Dewey and Ned’s girlfriend, Patty. While the movie is humorous, a few scenes are only worth a few giggles.

Regardless of its entertainment factor, School of Rock has a couple of holes in its storyline. The fact that Dewey committed a crime by impersonating someone else, with no mention of punishment is a bit unrealistic. There is also an instance when one of the children commands a bus driver to drive and retrieve Dewey. What bus driver decides to listen to a fifth-grader? Violence is missing while seriousness and suspense have cameos in this story. There is scarce character development, but enough to create aspects of empathy and caring.

Black brings the musical style he is known for on his Tenacious D albums. As for the kids and their instruments, there are no stand-ins here. You can see the children actually playing the instruments, not mimicking hand motions. Many of the children have been involved in musical competition and/ or play in bands. Though it missing some minor elements in the script, it still manages to produce a good laugh.