Idol Chatter

chalksm.bmpIf you love “The Office”, hate preachy teacher movies like “Dangerous Minds”, or you just need a holiday gift suggestion for your kid’s teacher this year, I have the perfect DVD for you. “Chalk’ ( I am guessing the title “Dry Erase Marker” didn’t test as well with the marketing department) is a hilarious, spot-on fictional account of a group of teachers, most of them rookies, at an Austin high school. Granted, I am sure I found this movie especially entertaining because I am one tired, frustrated educator who is currently counting the nano-seconds until Thanksgiving Break, but this indie gem (not surprisingly, written by a former teacher), is a timeless satire that champions a segment of the working class in a way that anyone who has ever been in a classroom can appreciate in one way or another.

Presented by “Supersize Me” auteur Morgan Spurlock, shot with jiggly cameras and lots of fake interviews with eccentric characters, “Chalk” borrows a lot from the filmmaking style of Christopher Guest (“Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind”) as the teachers try to survive the first day of school, faculty meetings, job promotions,and Teacher of the Year elections (okay, I have never known a teacher to care about Teacher of The Year, but it is still a funny bit). No one is safe from the satirical roving eye of the camera as administrators, students, parents and teachers are all skewered mercilessly as their foibles are revealed.
“Chalk” is all the smarter — and funnier — for steering clear of dated humor like making endless (and completely deserved) jokes about No Child Left Behind or GLCE’s or any other bureaucratic nonsense,while finding ways to cause the audience to care about even the most unsympathetic characters. After all, we all have a lot to learn if we want to get an “A” in the classroom of life.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus