Night School

Teddy is a high school dropout and a moderately successful barbecue salesman who is living paycheque to paycheque in order to fund a lifestyle worthy of his out-of-his-league girlfriend, Lisa. Lisa makes loads of her own cash so Teddy feels a little inadequate, and worries that his inability to keep up would cause her to leave. When he finds out that he stands to inherit the barbecue business, he finally feels secure enough to propose. Of course, Teddy’s (Kevin Hart) over-the-top proposal gets explosively out of hand, and his romantic prospects burn up just as assuredly as his economic future.

Out of a job with no high school diploma to his name, Teddy has little choice but to MV5BMTVjMmFmYmUtNGIzNi00OGY4LWI3ZGQtMWI5MjA2ODRiZGEyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc5OTMwOTQ@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_obtain his GED if he doesn’t want to work at Christian Chicken for the rest of his life (WHY is the chicken christian? how do we know to whom the chicken prays?). Two things stand in his way: first, the night school teacher Carrie (Tiffany Haddish), with whom he clashes, and also the school’s principal Stewart (Taran Killam), who was Teddy’s high school bully, more or less.

Night School is written by Kevin Hart and 5 others, and it feels like a movie written by committee. There are some laughs to be sure; Hart and Haddish are not exactly devoid of chemistry but the rest of the cast (Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Mary Lynn Rajskub) are just a bunch of weirdos that turn a not unpromising premise into a bag of very mixed nuts. Between chuckles, there is often a dauntingly vast laughter desert where not one iota of mirth exists. Sure, sometimes a joke may shimmer in the distance like it’s the real deal, but up close you’ll soon discover that though it may have a joke-like structure, it’s missing that essential element: comedy. Comedy is the thing that turns words into jokes. Apathy into laughter. 111 minutes into a movie. Night School does not have enough comedy to fill out the typical run-time of a commercial, so I’ll let you do the math as to whether or not this one’s worth your time. Mine? Not so much.

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13 thoughts on “Night School

  1. Liz A.

    This just doesn’t look good. Having spent time with lots of kiddos who are struggling to graduate high school, it also hits a little too close to home for me.

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  2. Tom

    The line about a chicken’s ostensible religious affiliation might just be the funniest line you’ve ever written. Granted, there is some serious competition. That clucked me up!

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. selizabryangmailcom

    Kevin Hart’s not doing the idea of “role models” any favors, either, with the cliched persona he keeps putting out there. It reminds me of when one of those maniacs in Jackass ate some food, vomited it up, then cooked it in a pan, and ate it again. That’s what Kevin Hart’s boring, demeaning, predictable acting is like for me.

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    1. Jay Post author

      He’s a funny guy but he’s not an actor, so every “character” he plays is the EXACT SAME CARBON COPY. He has zero range. He’s not the only comedian, and he might get away with it if the movie was consistently funny, but no.

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  4. Jason

    Good review. I thought the movie was okay-ish, but nothing really much laugh about. The cast was good and the set up for the story was solid as well, but it wasn’t executed right and the film couldn’t land its punchline.

    Liked by 1 person

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