‘Night School’ impresses with its humor, unexpected plot

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‘Night School’ impresses with its humor, unexpected plot


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By Siri Kanter ’20

After watching the movie trailer for “Night School,” I was indifferent. To me, it seemed like an underwhelming version of the Adam Sandler classic, “Billy Madison,” in which a grown man is forced to return to school and, in the process, falls in love with his teacher.

Based on its trailer, “Night School” seemed eerily similar: After Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart) loses his job, he returns to school to get his GED in order to more easily find a job. All of this comes after Walker has developed a clear persona, portraying himself as a affluent and successful salesman in order to impress his correspondingly affluent and successful girlfriend, Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke).

However, the comedic genius of Kevin Hart proved my previous assumption to be completely inaccurate. “Night School”, which premiered on Sept. 28, had layers of complexity in its story line that I had not anticipated.

Despite its 29 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Night School” proved to be captivating- and hilarious-throughout.

Although some may criticize the movie’s humor as being too easy or predictable, the theatre was filled with genuine laughter during a vast majority of the scenes.

Oftentimes, in movies like “Night School,” the characters are stereotypical, lacking depth and complication. In this movie, though, the main characters have a distinct personality with many layers.

While it wouldn’t be accurate to deem the characters in “Night School” unstereotypical, each one is lovable and enthralling in his or her own way. The night school’s teacher, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish), is tough yet sympathetic, and Walker’s fellow classmates each live a very different life.

Mackenzie — “Big Mac — (Rob Riggle) is a simple-minded father who’s completing his GED to motivate his son to complete high school. Luis is an aspiring dental hygienist who has just immigrated to America from Mexico.

Theresa (Mary Lynn Rajskub) was a teenage mother who dropped out of highschool and now resents her life. Bobby (Fat Joe) is a prisoner who Skypes into the class. And lastly,Mila (Anne Winters) who got expelled from her high school because of drug possession.

These characters initially seem like the exact types of people who would appear in this type of movie, but the relationship they develop with each other captures the heart of the watcher and (in my case) makes for an emotional, tear-jerking ending.

My one criticism with the movie is the religious undertones it displays throughout. During the day, Walker works at “Christian Chicken,” a fast food restaurant that claims it’s one with Jesus. Additionally, characters repeatedly make reference to God. I’m sure these occurrences were intended to be funny, but to me, there was an uncomfortable amount.

This minor fault did not distract from the movie’s excellence at whole. I adored the plot, the characters and the humor. It’s the perfect movie to watch when you can’t decide on what type of movie you want; it’s easy yet funny, and you are instantly able to connect to its characters.

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