Saturday movie review: The English Teacher

Julianne Moore is quite an accomplished actress, as we all know, especially in the drama genre. She can also be pretty funny, though, which I realized after recently watching THE ENGLISH TEACHER.

Moore stars with Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane, Michael Angarano, and Lilly Collins (plus some other familiar faces) in this 2013 comedy, which never hit my radar at the time it hit the theaters but I serendipitously stumbled upon it on Netflix Streaming.

The English Teacher movie

Linda Sinclair (Moore) is a forty-something English teacher who has, pretty much, no life—except for the lives she lives vicariously through the numerous books she spends most of her non-teaching time reading. Linda's a bit of a nerd, a bit of a perfectionist, and completely unsuccessful on the dating scene.

Linda's also a loner. Until, that is, former fave student Jason Sherwood (Angarano) returns to town after seemingly failing as a playwright in the big city. Linda wants to help Jason succeed in his chosen field, though his dad (Kinnear) vehemently objects to Jason's choice and encourages him to attend law school instead. To give Jason a boost, Linda campaigns to have his recent play performed by the high-school drama students—and agrees, without Jason's approval, to tweaking the ending to make the dark and depressing play more appropriate for teens.

In the meantime, Linda and Jason get cozy, much to the chagrin of Jason's dad, Linda's lone buddy Carl (Lane), and the entire school—students and staff. The consequences of which results in much of the screwball fun.

Moore flexes her comedic acting muscles with sagacious, subtle silliness. Lane, of course, is always a hoot. And the situations and relations between all the characters elicit quite a few chuckles.

THE ENGLISH TEACHER is a very different film for Moore, but a fairly fun one that Moore fans will appreciate because it shows another side of the versatile actress.

Julianne Moore and Michael Angarano talk about THE ENGLISH TEACHER:

THE ENGLISH TEACHER (rated R for language and some sexual content) premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and is now available on DVD and streaming.