Other Authors

Best ‘saving the students’ film of year

By Sister Helena Burns, FSP | Contributor
Sunday, November 4, 2012

Here Comes the Boom” is a very worthwhile film. It could even be seen as a definitive “teachers rock,” “save the school kids” film.

In “Here Comes the Boom” all the right things are eventually and succinctly said (no speeches) about what’s wrong with schools today and how to fix it, much of it boiling down to individual attitudes: that of a student, a parent, a teacher. It takes everybody. Everybody belongs. Everybody can contribute.

Scott Voss (Kevin James, a big guy with Chris Farley-like physical nimbleness) is the world’s worst slacker-teacher. We find out why: The system beats the idealism out of teachers, forcing them to be automatons “moving cattle through.”

But when the music teacher, Mr. Streb, (a warm and wonderful Henry Winkler) is on verge of losing his job (and the students their orchestra), Scott instinctively finds his inner hero and takes up mixed martial arts (where even losers make a lot of money per fight) to raise funds for the school.

Scott’s love interest, the school nurse (a feisty Salma Hayek), turns down a date with him many, many times, but she’s waiting to see if Scott has any true passion and resolve for teaching (and life) left in him.

The always slightly-offbeat situations are just delightful. The dialogue is constant, surprising, witty and yet somehow perfectly normal — almost like a scripted Woody Allen film. Every scene ends on a high and hilarious note. There are no false notes in this film.

This is a tight little comedy with totally at-ease dramatic moments that tie each movement of character and story together like smooth jelly roll filling. There’s almost a feeling of the most brilliant TV about it, like one of the very best episodes of “Seinfeld.”

Originality abounds, and yet it’s also incredibly familiar and homey.

There are natural religious touches also: prayer before a fight, quoting the Bible about Jacob wrestling with the angel, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

Kevin James — in real life — is a practicing Catholic who prays outside of abortion clinics. There are a few pro-life touches in the film: a very unexpected but immediately welcomed pregnancy of a 48-year-old woman, his brother’s big family.