In this irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama-teacher rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Don McKay, a high school janitor who leaves his hometown after a tragedy, returns 25 years later to rekindle a romance with his old flame, who is dying, but this homecoming brings McKay more than he bargained for.
Thomas Haden Church,
Eugene believes in no sex before marriage. So DID his girlfriend, Cindi. His BFF loves sex. At Senior Prom, just before sex with Cindi, he falls into a coma. Waking up 4 years later, his Cindi is Miss March in Playboy. Can he get her back?
Dana Marschz is a failed actor and recovering alcoholic who's moved to Tucson to teach high school drama, where he's plagued by bad reviews, student indifference, budget woes (he and his wife, who is trying to get pregnant, take in a boarder), and his own teaching limitations. Because the other electives are closed, he finds himself with a large class of seeming gang-bangers, and the principal informs him that drama will be cut next trimester. On the advice of a student reviewer, Dana decides to stage his own play, a sequel to "Hamlet" in which the prince and Jesus, with the use of a time machine, try to save Gertrude and Ophelia. Can Dana for once pull something off?Written by
After Principal Rocker kicks Dana off campus when they break in, we see a shot of the article written in the school newspaper. What Dana reads a few seconds later is not what is written. The article reads, (grammatically incorrectly), "What about about could possibly offend Principal Rocker to such a degree? Or is offense the offense at all? Selective ignorance is a dangerous commodity. As Roland Barthes tells us, textually and novelistic neutrality may coalesce. Rocker obviously suffers from a case of transposed aggression and questions of self worth. The symbolic nature of his actions show as Jung would point male aggression without release breeds anti intellectual action. Rocker could not possible comprehend the ramifications of transposed aggression and questions of self worth. ..." See more »
When Brie Marschz (Catherine Keener) and Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) are arguing in the Mexican restaurant in the middle of their argument, the margarita glass disappears when the camera cuts to Catherine and returns when the camera cuts back to Dana. See more »
To act is to live.
[followed by a commercial for "Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer"]
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A loser drama teacher with no hope left of a real acting career decides to gamble it all with a controversial new play. Through a bizarre combination of circumstances, a gang of tough Latinos and a handful of nerdy white theater kids join forces to help him realize his dream.
So much is going on in this incredible movie. The script is a rag-bag of old SOUTH PARK gags, (writer Pam Brady worked with Matt Stone and Trey Parker for many years) but it's spiced up with bizarre slapstick moments, celebrity cameos, and some real singing and dancing by a surprisingly charismatic and sexy cast of teen unknowns.
Steve Coogan is the glue that really holds this thing together. Even when the gags fall flat, he has a way of injecting genuine humor into the weirdest situations. "Everyone has rain gutters!" he shouts at a wealthy Mexican couple, for no reason at all. And when he's blocked at the typewriter, trying to write a masterpiece, he takes one look at his adorable pet cat and shouts, "What's your problem?" So stupid on paper, but in the film he makes it hilarious. Coogan has the comic genius of Gene Wilder in classics like YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, combined with the underdog appeal of Sylvester Stallone in the original classic ROCKY.
If I have any complaints about this film, it's that we don't see nearly enough of the talented teen actors who actually put on the play. I loved it when the prim and proper Epiphany threw herself into the arms of the sexy Mexican boy she'd been arguing with all through the movie, but couldn't there have been a little more development there? In a similar way, I would have liked it more if all the kids had gotten a bit more time to show off their acting skills, since it's obvious all of them are crazy about the stage.
HAMLET 2 makes a big joke out of referencing inspirational teacher movies like DANGEROUS MINDS and MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS, but it's really much more similar to that old teen television show FAME. Or to those old Judy Garland movies where someone says, "hey, kids, let's put on a show!" It also has an irreverent, sophisticated sparkle that reminds me of Shakespeare IN LOVE. Not only is there the obvious connection of making Great Literature into lively entertainment, but there's the sense that the entire film is really a love letter to actors and acting as a profession. That's an engaging premise, especially when you see so much bright young talent being revealed in such unexpected ways.
Go to this movie expecting anything and everything -- you won't be disappointed.
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