School Of Rock Taught Us It’s OK To Be Yourself
If you ever needed proof of how music can bring people together, then look no further than Jack Black’s School of Rock, which showed the world you’re only ever one Stevie Nicks track away from finding common ground.
In fact, the movie – which is arguably Black’s greatest piece of work to date – has taught us so much in the 17 years since its release, from stickin’ it to the man to thriving as the truest version of yourself.
Today marks Jack Black’s 51st birthday, and so it seems the perfect time to celebrate Dewey Finn, the music-loving, unapologetically authentic character played by Black, a guy who manages to go from ‘fat loser with body odour’ to frontman of a kick-ass band in just a matter of weeks.
School of Rock is outrageously silly, hilarious, and contains some of the catchiest tunes of all time (sadly not Tenacious D’s greatest song in the world, though), but it also takes us on an incredible journey of self-growth and shows us confidence and positive self-esteem can be found within, especially while navigating those particularly tricky teenage years.
On the face of it, the pupils at Horace Green Prep School wouldn’t stand a chance at even getting into a rock concert, let alone performing an incredible set and almost being crowned Battle of the Bands. And yet, when Dewey, who is posing as substitute teacher Ned Schneebly, hears the students in music class, he sees past the classical instruments and private school uniforms. He sees raw talent, rhythm and a genuine love of music.
The film sees the youngsters grow in confidence from the outset. Take Lawrence for instance, he doesn’t think he’s cool enough to be in the band but after some careful words of wisdom from Dewey, he soon evolves into the slickest damn keyboard player to step foot on the Battle of The Bands stage.
Zack, who takes on the position of lead guitarist, wants nothing more than to impress his businessman father, who is usually too busy to pay attention to what is going on. And yet, he faces a crisis when he garners his dad’s attention for seemingly all the wrong reasons; listening to rock music, gelling his hair into spikes and getting into trouble for rolling his sleeves up.
But, it isn’t until his dad sees Zack on the stage at the Battle of the Bands that it all comes together, and he finally realises how talented his son has been the entire time.
However, the most prominent moment in the film comes when Tomika approaches Dewey and tells him, despite her incredible voice, that she can’t sing in the band because she’s ‘too fat’ – a feeling many body-conscious teens can relate to.
‘You’ve got something everybody wants. You’ve got talent, girl, you have an incredible singing voice,’ Dewey tells her, before comparing her to Aretha Franklin, noting that no one cares what size she is when they hear her beautiful voice.
And, it’s not just the pupils who learn and grow throughout the film. The most powerful transformation belongs to Dewey Finn, who goes from a selfish loner who can’t even pay his rent, let alone hold down a job, to someone who shows affection, love and empathy towards others, all thanks to the power of music.
After all, who can forget the iconic line: ‘Your kids have all really touched me, and I’m pretty sure I’ve touched them.’
Thanks, Jack Black, for stickin’ it to the man, showing us the power of rock and most of all teaching us it’s okay to be ourselves.
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