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Night School review - Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart on top of their game

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Verdict: Hilarious, uplifting, entertaining... just a bit too predictable. 

Think about two of most loved comedians in the world. Now picture them doing a film together - can it get any better than this? Night School (2018), directed by Malcolm D. Lee, stars Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart in a light-hearted but refreshing comedy that portrays the path to success in quite an uncommon (and hilarious) way.

Gathering these two exceptional comedians in a film is a smart move that instantly draws a lot of attention, but there is a meaningful story in it too: Teddy, a goofy boy who leaves school due to learning disabilities and just an unwillingness to study, finds himself working in a shop that sells BBQ grills. When the owner of the shop decides to hand it over to Teddy, he decides to propose to his very successful girlfriend.

Of course, it all goes massively wrong, and Teddy is left without a job and with a barely driveable car. His financial advisor tells him that one possible solution would be working with him, but for that to happen, an unmissable step must be taken: he needs to pass his GED exam, aka get his high school diploma.

Night school is the only option, and this is when Carrie, the cool teacher played by Tiffany Haddish, comes into action. Teddy is joined by a group of eclectic characters who failed school and are looking for a second chance in life: from being a dentist, to escaping a miserable housewife routine.

The struggles he goes through to pass the exam are many and varied, and come with a lot of unexpected situations and comical adventures. He meets the classmate he once embarrassed in front of the whole school, and, funnily enough, the bullied boy is now the school headmaster who turns his life and studies into a total nightmare. From there come all the obstacles: the exam retaken, the job at Christian Chicken, and the constant lies to his girlfriend, who believes Teddy is already a financial advisor, and financially stable.

Although engaging (two hours passed by very quickly), there is one issue that brings the this film down: a slight lack of originality. We know Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart from TV shows, stand-ups or even celebrity gossip, so it is easy to confuse their real personality with the characters they are playing. Therefore, both get inevitably mixed in the film.

It can also be considered a High School Musical film with small updates. Although very fun to watch, it just isn’t a super creative storyline. How many films are there based on students dropping out, failing their exams, struggling to cope with money issues and, by the end, sorting it all out? Plenty.

The biggest win is without a doubt the cast - if it wasn’t for this perfect duo, it might have been just one comedy lost in the middle of all the others with similar stories. But Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart are doing here what they do best: telling jokes, being hilarious, and entertaining the audience - so there can’t be much to complain about.

It is interesting to see Tiffany in a more formal position, as a High School teacher, although Carrie isn’t the most conventional one: she is funny, charismatic and, most importantly, cares for her students like a mother. She is the one responsible for Teddy’s persistence and it truly shows how crucial it is to have strong support and motivation from the people around us to achieve our goals.

Night School is the kind of enjoyable, family-style film that you would want to watch on a chill Sunday evening at home and perhaps one more reason to get obsessed with Tiffany Haddish, if there weren’t enough already. Despite not exceeding expectations, it does live up to them and can inspire the public to deal with school or personal issues with good humour.

Night School is in cinemas now.




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