Film Review – Night School

Night School (M)

Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee

Starring: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish

Three stars

Review by: Julian Wright

Pint sized funny man Kevin Hart goes back to school in a funnier and far less nerve grating comedy than the similar Billy Madison.

Life is going pretty well for high school drop-out and barbecue salesman Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart): his boss just announced the business will eventually go to him and his girlfriend just accepted his marriage proposal.

However, his elaborate proposal after hours in the store ends with the building exploding, leaving him out of a job and very few prospects without his high school graduation certificate.

Teddy, along with several other quirky characters, enrolls in night school to get their GED, with no-nonsense teacher Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) between them and a passing grade.

nightschool

This super broad comedy is simply a showcase for the banter between Hart and Haddish, and depending on how much you enjoy their style of comedy will depend upon how much you get out of this film.

There are some laugh out loud moments, though with a bloated running time of almost two hours, there are long stretches without decent laughs; sharing screen time among so many classmates is one reason for the length, and yet they offer fewer genuine laughs than the two leads combined.

What sets this comedy apart is its tackling of learning disabilities. Teddy discovers, with Carrie’s help, that he has dyslexia and dyscalculia and works to overcome it and get his degree, offering more inspiration than what you might have expected from a Kevin Hart film.

Haddish is notably lower key than in her breakout role of Dina in Girls Trip last year (who can forget the grapefruit scene?), playing the mostly straight role to Hart’s over the top whiny and hustling Teddy, but her presence is a nice balance.

While Night School could have greatly benefited from tighter editing (how a back-to-school romp was allowed to run this long is a mystery), it is a breezy night out or a night in with Netflix kind of film.

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