Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge) is failed actor turned drama teacher Dana Marschz in this 2008 comedy.
When a group of delinquents join the class Marschz must use his awkward street-smarts to help the troubled youths express some creativity, but following a string of critically savaged plays the school decides to close the drama department leaving the teacher to ponder his (and his students’) future.
Is producing a sequel to one of the world’s best loved plays the answer?
American audiences unfamiliar with Coogan’s brand of humour didn’t take to this film but it isn’t as bad as you might expect. Marschz’s life is in tatters as his job and personal life fall apart and Coogan performs adequately in the role, even delivering some very funny physical comedy moments.
Elisabeth Shue (Cocktail, The Karate kid) pops up as a parody of herself and her inclusion also brings from the star-struck Marschz.
Unfortunately the films climax (the performance of Hamlet 2) detracts from the comedy on offer and contains very few laughs itself, ensuring that Coogan follows in the footsteps of British comedians such as Rik Mayall (Drop Dead Fred) and Lenny Henry (True Identity) who also have a Hollywood flop in their CVs.
Ric’s Rating: Dodgy.