Director and co-writer Mike Akel based this movie off of his three year public high school teaching stint. Along with co-writer and one of the leading actors, Chris Mass, who currently teaches high school World Geography, Mike nails the feeling of high school hell. As a former miserable high schooler and long-term substitute teacher I have to tell you…the situations are very accurately portrayed.
All of the kids used in the film are students who sacrificed a summer vacation to become “movie stars”. And as for the teachers, an amazing cast of actors who, once given the framework of the story, were allowed to improvise most of their performance. The results are truly side-splitting.
I roared with laughter as the teachers dealt with indifferent students, petty office politics and an endless supply of self-doubt. One of the funnier moments of the film was the Spelling Hornet; a school event devised to help create a bond between teachers and students. In the Spelling Hornet, it’s the teachers who are in competition against one another as they’re made to spell modern slang words as dictated by the students. Yes, as embarrassing as most of these situations get, there’s always a strong foundation of love and admiration for both the profession and the kids who benefit from it. And that respect comes from the filmmakers having first hand experience with the subject.
This film has made me seriously consider going back to school to get my teaching cert.
I long to be a professional butt of all jokes.
I think it may be my true calling.
Chalk is playing at Upstate:
Sun – Tues 8:30. Wed & Thurs 6:20