The English Teacher

September 28, 2013 - A high school English teacher has a fling with a former student in this indie film written by Wilkes-Barre native Dan Chariton and his wife, Stacy (Weiss). Julianne Moore heads a cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane and Michael Angarano. The film is set in Kingston, Pennsylvania (across the Susquehanna from W-B), but all the filming was done in suburban New York City.

Moore plays Linda Sinclair, a single, 40-something English teacher at Kingston High School. One evening, she's standing at an outdoor ATM. When a man approaches, she sprays him in the face with pepper spray. Only then does she realize that he's Jason Sherwood, a former student trying to make it as a playwright in New York. Turns out he's back home and making plans to go to law school because he can't get his play produced on Broadway.

Linda reads the play, and with the help of the high school drama teacher (Lane), convinces the principal to let the students stage Jason's play instead of doing Our Town again. Drama ensues when Linda and Jason have an after-hours quickie in a classroom and the whole school finds out about it. There's also the matter of the play itself and the ending no one wants the principal to find out about.

Overall review: ** This is a watchable film that I liked more than I thought I would. It's helped out greatly by a good cast that makes the most of the generally funny material. The drawbacks are mainly plot-related as there are some things that happen that leave you wondering how or why. Also, there are a few Wilkes-Barre area references that are funny if you get them, but which may seem unnecessary if you don't.

This film was not released widely, so you'll have to catch it on DVD, on-demand, or something like that if you want to see it. At 93-minutes long, it's not a bad investment of your time.