Jack Marcus teaches advanced English at an upscale prep school. He never makes lesson plans, he doesn’t grade the papers and he’s usually late for class. Dina Delsanto has a lot of physical problems because of rheumatoid arthritis and she comes to the school as the new advanced Art instructor. The two teachers immediately clash in the break room. Jack always plays a game with the other teaches, naming 5 syllable words for each letter in the alphabet. Dina doesn’t want to join into this game, she would like a break in the break room. The two teachers start a battle with themselves and the two classes that leads to a battle in the school about which is more powerful, the word or the picture.
I don’t consider this to be a comedy and it’s both not good and not bad. It doesn’t take a bold enough step in either direction so it just remains lukewarm. You feel sorry for Dina because of her arthritis but not enough information is given about her limitations to draw you into her character. Jack is scruffy inside and out and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for Dina to give him any of her limited energy. 2 ½* (This movie is so-so)
111 min, Comedy directed by Fred Schepisi with Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, Bruce Davison, Valerie Tian, Navid Negahban, Amy Brenneman.
Note: Imdb 6.6 out of 10, 42% critic 54% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1 ½*.