Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is a middle-aged high school English teacher who believes in love, longs for love, and has found love — in the pages of her favorite novels. In real life? Not so much. She’s always had her nose in a book, and her romantic sensibilities have kept her from meeting a nice guy. There are no heroes like the ones in novels, and she’s disappointed after meeting some random man on a date. So she projects her passion on to her students as she animatedly talks about Shakespeare and the Brontes. But then one of her former students (Michael Angarano) moves back home and turns her life around. He left NYU’s theatre school and is giving up his dream as a playwright, ready to give in to his father’s (Greg Kinnear) demands of going to law school. Linda is not having it. Jason wrote a gorgeous play, and she convinces her school officials to fund it for production. She’ll even cover any additional costs! That’s how much she believes in Jason’s talent! This brings chaos in her idyllic, quiet life, causing her to lose her squeaky-clean reputation, and possibly her job.
THE ENGLISH TEACHER is a dark comedy that is both charming and romantic. Love Julianne Moore and Greg Kinnear and, while they’re hardly together in the film, it was a treat nevertheless. They have an Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Darcy type of love/hate acquaintance, and that’s what makes it so appealing. This also has an impressive cast. (Nathan Lane, Lily Collins, Jessica Hecht, just to name a few.) The character Jason is egotistical and immature, making him the least likable in the movie. You’d want to watch this from beginning to end. Downsides? Everyone is super hard on Linda. Yes, she made her fair share of mistakes, but the others behaved as though they were free of fault. The other characters are self-absorbed and obnoxious, but I know it’s done on purpose. I give THE ENGLISH TEACHER four out of five Vanilla Bean iced coffees!