Saturday, October 22, 2016

Teacher of the Year (2014)

IMDb plot summary: Surrounded by the eccentric faculty of Truman High School, Mitch Carter wins the California Teacher of the Year award and immediately receives a tempting offer that may force him to leave his job.
Directed by Jason Strouse. Starring Matt Letscher, Keegan-Michael Key, Sunny Mabrey, and Larry Joe Campbell.

This is an... odd movie in terms of tone. It sets itself up as a silly mockumentary about teachers, but there's not as much out-and-out comedy as I would expect. A few side characters are entertainingly over-the-top, but our central character is very much grounded, and his entire arc is something more out of a heartwarming teacher movie than something by Christopher Guest. The two tones don't mesh terribly well. The principal and the robotics teacher are too ridiculous to fit into the primary narrative, and that narrative is too sincere to fit a genre with the word "mock" in it. I'm inclined to like it more as a serious story about a teacher trying to figure things out in an occasionally-quirky school. The primary character is likable and interesting, and his story went in an unexpected direction that I appreciated. So... an awkward movie that can't figure out what it is, but not a terrible one.

2 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Teacher of the Year < Interiors
Teacher of the Year > The Last Temptation of Christ
Teacher of the Year > Marathon Man
Teacher of the Year < Quitting
Teacher of the Year > Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Teacher of the Year < Kagemusha
Teacher of the Year < Blue Velvet
Teacher of the Year < Frequency
Teacher of the Year > Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Teacher of the Year > Luther
Teacher of the Year < Hide and Seek

Final spot: #1491 out of 2524.

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