Friday, January 07, 2011

Publish or perish

I watched a rather inane movie last night called Tenure. It is, not suprisingly, about a guy seeking tenure at the university where he teaches. He's a brilliant teacher but can't get published recently. Also, he has a goofy friend who leads him into trouble. Another professor comes along who is a brilliant scholar, but a poor teacher. He helps her out because he's a good guy and they are going to fall in love, of course. The upshot is that he is offered probationary tenure (is that even possible?) and told he has to take a year to really focus on scholarship. Not suprisingly, being the hero, he declines and becomes a high school teacher, having understood that teaching is his true gift and calling.

First of all, he should have gone to a community college because there is great respect for teaching there. But secondly, I don't think that universities can really disdain teaching talent that much. All in all, it was a little heavy handed.

The lead actor was Luke Wilson, and Gretchen Mol played his rival/love interest. They both did a good job- understated and real. Some of the supporting players went way overboard in caricaturizing academic types. It didn't help that the script was rather uneven.
The star? Bigfoot, who made a couple of cameo appearances.

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