The English teacher stars Julianne Moore, as Linda Sinclair, as a shy, career-oriented, but lonely, lady desperately yearning for the attention she’s never received. Instead, she spends her time in her books, educating the youth on literature appreciation and, specifically, a fondness for theatrical works.
This quickly comes crashing down as a former student, Jason (Michael Angarano) with daddy issues storms into her life, looking for some empathy after failing as an aspiring playwright.
What happens when you mix a lonely, playwright-connoisseur wannabe with a failed playwright? That’s right, an unappetizing, predictable plot served on a cheap platter with bad humour for side dressings.
The movie centers on a play written by Jason, himself, passed onto Linda in a desperate attempt for some recognition of his playwriting abilities. She, in her quest for purpose and to sate her overwhelming thirst for theatrical writing, lunges at the opportunity and invests her own time and money into producing the play for the highschool she teaches at.
Naturally, there is opposition from both sides–those who support the play and those who do not (administration–which yields the remainder of the story amidst an orgy of improbable events.
Jason’s dad, Tom (kinnear) plays the role of the unsupportive father. A doctor, by profession; an asshole, by nature, so to speak. He doesn’t play much of a factor in anything, really. Just serves to facilitate a necessary portion in an already underwhelming story.
The problem with the English Teacher isn’t the premise. People are lonely; naturally when lonely people get together, they seek to improve each others’ lives through symbiotic means. This is fairly mainstay and, in fact, the performances as a whole were quite decent as well, which leads me to the main reason this movie failed: The script was absolutely atrocious!
The events that continued to take place did nothing but befuddle my common sense. It was insulting, yet in a very subtly subersive manner. Nothing was believable in the movie uptill a certain point and I just wanted it to end. It seemed like a bad joke getting worse and worse through even poorer usage of an already-bad script.
I couldn’t believe Moore (Children of Men, Magnolia to name a few) would have chosen such an abhorrent, go-nowhere script and worse, play a character with absolutely no redemption whose only role was to get crapped on at every turn. The rest of the main cast (apart from Moore and Kinnear) were fairly new to the cinematic scene, so I can’t blame their choice in making the movie.
In fact, it would have been best if this movie hadn’t been made in the first place. Don’t bother wasting your money.