Movies + TV

HAMLET 2, STARRING STEVE COOGAN

Scenes
Hamlet2
Courtesy of L+E Pictures

Smart high-school comedies have more to offer than camera-friendly teens. See Election, Clueless, and now Hamlet 2—in which Steve Coogan plays a talentless drama teacher who attempts to save his school's theater program with a musical sequel to Shakespeare's Oedipal tragedy. It's helped along by gifted kids and some cheeky controversy: The musical numbers (like "Rock Me Sexy Jesus") and the wildly profane script (sample direction: "The time-machine door opens, revealing Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, and Hillary Clinton having what appears to be group sex") spark knee-jerk protests, which ignite support from a First Amendment lawyer (Amy Poehler). But throughout all this it's the sublimely absurd Coogan—he asks a Kinko's employee, "Which color do you think works best for a controversial piece of sociopolitical agitprop theater?"—who proves that sharp adult quips can carry a high-school musical. Ruth Baron


The sing-a-long for "Rock Me Sexy Jesus"

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