Putting On a Show
I believe that anyone who sits down to watch "The Music Teacher" having read a synopsis must do so expecting shall we say a bit of cheese, well this is a movie where a group of former students try to help a favourite teacher by "putting on a show". And to be honest "The Music Teacher" is full of cheese especially when it comes to these former students singing together, be it during rehearsals of when it comes to the big night, oh and that big night is the manipulative heart tugging musical experience you would expect. But do you know what, beneath numerous layers of cheese "The Music Teacher" does have a nice collection of stories, a reunion movie of sorts where these old friends deal with issues, some from the past and some from the present whilst that favourite teacher confronts some issues of her own.
Following an accident in which her husband and son were killed music teacher Alyson (Annie Potts - Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story) has thrown herself into work, not just during class time but also after school as she runs a music club. But with the school needing to cut spending the after school music club is certainly going to go leaving Alyson with nothing to fill the gap. That is until a group of her former students get together and decide to put on a show to help raise funds to keep the club going and in doing so deal with some issues left over from their own school days whilst also some new ones which have cropped up since.
So ignoring the fact that early on we hear former student Dee Dee say "We could put on a show" and what "The Music Teacher" is is a reunion movie where old friends come together for the first time as a group since school. It's by no means a new idea and in many ways what happens in "The Music Teacher" is not only obvious but often highly telegraphed. For example former misfit Jace returns having become a mega rich TV star and plans to rub people's noses in it who made his time at school miserable, but of course discovers that their is no pleasure in it. We also have relationship problems from former high school sweethearts rekindling their romance, a married couple suffering marital issues as well as those of a mother and daughter. And of course all these are wrapped around the wonderful Alyson who despite still having not moved on from the death of her family is there to offer pearls of wisdom to her former students. But whilst all this is cliche it does provide a nice back story as things come together for the good of everyone.
Of course there is also the show side of things as we have are now grown up students "putting on a show". I'm sorry but to me it is just corny and cheesy and the longing looks across the auditorium as songs are belted out, and not always well dubbed, are simply poor. Maybe if you were part of one of these musical clubs the notion of getting together with your old friends to "put on a show" like you use to will hold some charm but for those like me who weren't it will seem cheesy. Maybe it was intentional, maybe those attempts to look like you love someone whilst singing were meant to be that fake but I doubt it and when you throw a manipulative heart tugging big finale it is all too cheesy.
Now I'm not going to name names because there is a lot of cheesy acting going on when it comes to the musical side of "The Music Teacher" but there is during those non musical scenes some nice moments. Most of these nice moments come from Annie Potts as Alyson because it is hard not to like Potts when she is in full on nice mode but Emilie Ullerup as Dee Dee also ends up impressing because her story of being a failed actress who hides the truth has the most realism to it.
What this all boils down to is that "The Music Teacher" is one seriously cheesy movie but in a way when you read the synopsis it is what you expect. But even when you expect it it doesn't stop it from being too cheesy and cliche although also strangely entertaining, well sort of.