"The hit, the very palpable hit" of the
2008 Sundance Film Festival, Hamlet 2 is an irreverent
comedy centering on one teacher's overzealous quest to mount
a high school musical. The film is directed by Andrew
Fleming (Dick, Threesome) from an original screenplay he
wrote with Pam Brady (South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut,
Team America: World Police); the stars are Steve Coogan
(Night at the Museum), Catherine Keener (The 40-Year-Old
Virgin), David Arquette (the Scream movies), Amy Poehler
(Saturday Night Live), and Academy Award nominee Elisabeth
Shue as herself.
Mr. Coogan portrays Dana Marschz; the last name is
pronounced...oh, any attempt is close enough, really. Dana
is a failed actor-turned-high school drama teacher.
Shortchanged in the talent department, Dana still harbors
ambitions and passions. At work, that is; his personal life,
with his dissatisfied wife Brie (Ms. Keener) and their
boarder Gary (Mr. Arquette), leaves much to be desired.
At Tucson, AZ's West Mesa High School, Dana sees himself as
an inspirational teacher. But his adaptations of popular
films, as performed by his top students Rand and Epiphany (Skylar
Astin and Phoebe Strole, both stars of Broadway's Spring
Awakening), are not resonating. When his latest -
re-creating Erin Brockovich - is dismissed by the 9th grade
drama critic and his department is targeted for closure,
Dana must reach deep into himself for creativity.
After much perspiration, he conceives a sequel to
Shakespeare's Hamlet - a musical-theater extravaganza that
will disdain both political correctness and dramatic
credibility. Rallying and rousing his class, Dana casts a
wider net by recruiting transfer students like Ivonne (Melonie
Diaz of Be Kind Rewind) for key roles. With rehearsals
underway, objections from school officials and the community
are soon raised, but Dana will not be denied his freedom of
artistic expression. After all, "to thine own self be true."
Dana gets unexpected support from ACLU attorney Cricket
Feldstein (Ms. Poehler) and his favorite actress, Elisabeth
Shue. Above all else, he fervently believes that his opus
must be staged, and nothing can break his optimistic spirit.© Focus Features. All
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