School of Rock 2: School of Schlock?

by Lauren Gitlin June 24, 2008 12:17 pm
School of Rock 2: School of Schlock? I have yet to form an opinion about whether or not I'm excited that there's a School of Rock sequel in the works, so let's hash it out together, shall we?

If memory serves -- damn you, alcohol and your powers to obliterate my recall! -- I'm reasonably sure I liked the original. (It came out five years ago! That's like 7,000 martinis!) Most especially I liked Joan Cusack as the cloistered, closet Stevie Nicks fanatic. The kids were cute in a minimally annoying way. And Jack Black was Jack Black, which, yeah. I used to have a total crush on His Pudginess but he's started to suffer from the Jim Carrey Effect (not to be confused with The Butterfly Effect, which is totally different).

And as for scribe Mike White, he is one of a few writers who can successfully bestride two worlds: lowbrow chuckle-fests with a dash of emotional sophistication (Chuck & Buck) and finely drawn indie-style dramas with a few splashes of humor (The Good Girl). Based on what he said at a LAFF panel last week [via Defamer], he seems to be putting a lot more emphasis on the emotional heft for what was originally conceived as a feel-good comedy, and that can be problematic: "I actually just completed a draft ... and I'm still, like, crying as I'm writing the script. I try to come at it from a personal place..." Hmmmm. "Personal place" can sometimes be code for "schlocky, ham-handed saccharine crapola." Certainly there was a pinch of that in the original School of Rock, and the nature of a sequel is to see where the characters are now, what they've learned, how they've grown, etc. Instant set-up for schlock.

White was mum about the movie's plot during the Sunday sit-down, so who the hell knows? Maybe it will be a heartwarming story about how Guitar Hero has dulled the aspirations of a whole new generation of potential rockers! Maybe it will kick severe amounts of ass and I'll be eatin' my words. Truth is I'll probably go see it either way. I'll suffer through a few tear-jerky moments if it's a means to an end, especially when that end is getting the Led out.




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