School of Rock

Rated 2.0 A lazy rock musician (Jack Black) masquerades as his substitute-teacher roommate to make a quick buck; to his surprise, he finds himself actually becoming interested in giving his students an education, albeit one in rock history. Two stalwarts of the indie film scene try their hand at a mainstream comedy: writer Mike White (The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck; White also appears as Black’s wimpy roommate) and director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise). The result is middling-to-good, thanks to Black’s manic energy, a nice rock soundtrack and good support from Joan Cusack as the school’s prissy principal. On the downside, Black works better as a team player than when carrying a movie alone, and neither White nor Linklater have their hearts in this kind of parade-of-the-cute-kids flick.