On paper, Cooties sounds like it has a premise that isn’t going to take it very far. I have to admit, I went in thinking it would have a few good laughs, but that it was going to suck. I’m happy to report that it kept me laughing just enough – and had enough carnage in it – to tide me over for the hour and a half duration. Here are five reasons to check it out this weekend.
Here’s a brutal truth that any teacher will tell you, though not upfront: some kids are just not nice, but no one really wants to be the bad guy and say that a kid is a jerk (yet you can call it a good ten years before said kid reaches adulthood). Yes, you get into teaching to make a difference, and you want in your heart to believe that everyone has some good in them while they’re young. You want to stay positive, you want to believe; you don’t want to think that a child could be that much of an asshole long before adulthood. That we get to see some nasty little pieces of work – particularly a kid named Patriot (and really, all teachers have at least one weird name story) – doesn’t work to condemn all kids. It just points out the ones that we pretend aren’t there because it doesn’t fit the inspirational poster hanging in the classroom.
We get to see some teachers as flawed individuals in this film. Some can’t separate their religious views from their instructional duties; others are having trouble keeping personal issues (such as failed careers and family drama) out of the classroom; some can’t move past the glory days of high school. Let me tell you, as a former teacher, these people are out in the real world, and they are messy. Some are regular people just trying not to fall apart throughout the day. Some of them are exhausted from keeping it together and just want some respect for dealing with your kids. It’s nice to see this aspect get a nod.
|This really is a fun group.|
Some of the jokes are pretty dark in terms of why they’re funny. Whacking the crap out of your elementary students? Horrifying in real life, but pretty funny here. Deep down, you want to laugh (especially if you’ve taught) because we all know at least one kid that you’ve wanted to hit in the face with a dodgeball. Likewise, it’s just as satisfying to watch an obnoxious parent get clobbered. Will you sort of hate yourself? Yup. Doesn’t make it any less funny.
Without spoiling anything… watch this and then tell me how damning this film is of the food industry.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it here: Elijah Wood is producing some interesting stuff. Throw in that Leigh Whannell of Saw and Alison Pill of Snowpiercer are in it, and it’s got a cast that you not only recognize, but smile at. Seth Meyers executive produced it, and Ian Brennan (Glee) wrote it. Now given, I’m not a Glee fan, but some of you out there are; I’m not about to crap on your show. Not today, at least.
|You’re okay in my book, Elijah. It took me a while, but we’re good.|