the funniest, and she has an unusually large role in the new Jack Black movie, School of Rock, which I saw last night. She plays the uptight school principal that everyone hates, but who only wants to be loved. Her facial ticks and perfect comic delivery sometimes remind me of Margaret’s various performances in her Agent Agitateur movies. While Cusack is very funny in this movie, she will never top her one-minute appearance in Sixteen Candles (remember the neck brace?), but that’s just my opinion.
Even without the very funny frosting of Joan Cusack playing a principal, School of Rock would still be very delicious, because Jack Black really put his heart and soul into his loser-kicked-out-of-his-own-band-turned-substitute-teacher role. It almost seemed like he wasn’t acting, which I think might be a little true. I thought that the kids were nice to watch as well, even if many of them were veteran child actors with annoying behaviors like rolling their eyes and sighing in a cutesie way. The faggy kid bugged me because all his jokes were obviously written for a 40-year-old piano bar patron (what ten-year-old knows who Liza Minelli is?) and his acting seemed to be inspired by Carson from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, except he was, you know, acting. The rest of the kids, with the exception of the girl who sings “Tomorrow,” (I hate her) were awesome, especially the shy, Asian one that plays the piano. He totally rawked at the end when he was dressed like Julius Caesar and pointing at the crowd.
The message of the movie is about sincerity, authenticity and faith in your art form, and a slap in the face to all those sexy and talentless famous people out there. It also has that special quality that provoked giddy feelings of anticipation and “you-can-do-it” that I hadn’t felt since I saw Sister Act for the first time. I will call it Magic.