Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the animated Yeti tale “Smallfoot” and the GED comedy “Night School” starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.
After years of slogging it out in the comedy clubs Tiffany Haddish burst into the collective consciousness with a bravura turn in last year’s “Girl’s Trip.” Charismatic, funny and filthy, she became an overnight sensation with years of experience. In “Night School” she stars opposite superstar Kevin Hart in her first name-above-the-title movie.
Hart plays Teddy Walker, a successful BBQ salesman about to ask Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke), the love of his life, for her hand in marriage when disaster strikes. A stray champagne cork knocks off the top of a gas container and BOOM, his car dealership is reduced to rubble. His investment adviser best friend (Ben Schwartz) wants to give him a job but can’t. “You’re the best salesman I’ve ever seen,” he says, “but my boss won’t let me hire a dropout.” If he ever wants to make real money he has to go to night school and get his GED.
Enrolling at an adult education course at a local school he meets fellow students hipster Mila (Anne Winters), single mom Theresa (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and their teacher Carrie (Haddish). “I’m here to make a little extra cash so that I can afford rent and some luxuries like antibiotics because this job makes me sick sometimes.” She’s a no-nonsense teacher who realizes Teddy may have a learning disability.
Forget sending Teddy back to school. It’s “Night School’s” script that needs to go back to class. While it touches on worthy, hot button topics regarding the lack of funding for schools, and the importance of education most of the jokes get a failing grade. There’s the odd laugh but this is a comedy in genre category only. Haddish is wasted in a role that doesn’t give her the chance to fully strut herself, Hart pulls out his usual crowd-pleasing shtick to diminishing returns. The supporting cast supplies some giggles. Cudos to Romany Malco for ramping up the weird in his portrayal of the conspiratorial student Jaylen.
“Night School” is filled with funny people but the humour falls somewhere on a scale between “Welcome Back Kotter” and “Saved by the Bell.”