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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Movie Review - The English Teacher

The English Teacher (2013)
Starring Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano, Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, and Nathan Lane
Directed by Craig Zisk
***The film is currently streaming on Netflix***

When Jason (Michael Angarano) returns to his small Pennsylvania hometown after spending a few years in New York City trying to make it as an aspiring playwright, he's greeted kindly by his former high school English teacher Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) who is thrilled to have a student who has gone on to write a play (despite the fact that it's never been produced).  After meeting with her school's drama teacher Carl Kapinas (Nathan Lane), Linda decides to produce Jason's play with Carl for their high school dramatic production.  Along the way, however, Linda and Jason begin to have a relationship beyond teacher-former student and complications arise that may affect Linda's typically mundane and rote life.

Unfortunately for Julianne Moore, she's yet to star in a comedy that I've really enjoyed (yes, that includes The Big Lebowski which I think I highly overrated when I watched it several years ago).  The English Teacher does nothing to change this thought of mine.  Moore herself isn't the problem -- I think she could do decent with comedic roles if she'd only choose comedies that were actually funny.  All of the actors here are actually game and try their hardest in their roles, but even their significant acting chops couldn't elicit a single laugh from me.  Moore's facing a mid-life crisis, Angarano's trying to figure out his path in life, and Kinnear's attempting to become a better father to Jason, but none of these plot points are funny -- and therein lies the problem.

There's a sweetness that permeates through The English Teacher that is moderately enjoyable, but director Craig Zisk's first feature film is too trite and ultimately too bland to merit your time.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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