Jack Black – who was so superb as the manic record store assistant in High Fidelity, but disappointing in movies like Shallow Hal and Gulliver’s Travels – got the leading role to suit his wisecracking talents in this terrific comedy. He plays slacker/wannabe rocker Dewey Finn, who cons his way into a substitute teaching job at a prestigious school because he needs money to pay the rent. Of course, he has nothing to pass on to the kids except his almost psychopathic love of rock music, so it’s not long before normal lessons are abandoned and he is teaching the group of ten-year-olds how to form their own band, play guitar like Hendrix and enter a local Battle of the Bands competition.
Directed with zeal by Richard Linklater, this is the perfect forum for Black’s manic persona, but the true stars here are the kids, all of whom play their own instruments and rock the house just as well as any grown-ups. Terrific stuff.
Is School Of Rock suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...