Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chalk (2006)

Chalk was described to me as an Office Space for teachers. How could any fan of Office Space not say, sign me up? One of the opening shots announces the grim stats: 50 percent of all new teachers quit within the first three years. Although a mockumentary, at Chalk's core remains this disturbing nugget of truth.

It has its moments but definitely not giving Office Space a run for its money. Perhaps funnier to teachers and those working with students, the situations seem real but taken to that untenable place. In some school system, all of these situations are occurring.

The teachers are all a little nuts in mostly endearing ways; all are resoundingly filled with hope. They are doing their best at a hard job. Mrs. Reddell (Shannon Haragan) shone as the newly minted AP (Assistant Principal). She showcases what her life becomes after becoming AP--excruciatingly long hours, no time with her husband, no sex. Yet, she keeps showing up every day. Once she starts as AP, her friendly relationship with Coach Webb (Janelle Schremer) deteriorates and Webb is left with few allies. Coach Webb is a hoot.

These actors embody their roles and make these wacky situations believable. Maybe the underlying message will stay with you. It did with me...we're screwed.

Themes: School system issues, lives of teachers, romance at the workplace

Director: Mike Akel

Country: US

Genre: Mockumentary

Minutes: 85

Scale: 2.5

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