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Film / Night School (2018)

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Night School is a 2018 comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee and starring Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Romany Malco, Keith David, Taran Killam, and Anne Winters.

The story follows Teddy, a high-school dropout who plans on proposing to his girlfriend, only to lose his job at the worst possible moment and can only find new work with the help of a GED. This forces him to join a group of other adults who aspire to earn their GEDs, under the tutelage of the unorthodox teacher, Carrie.

Night School (2018) provides examples of:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: While Carrie is a reasonable teacher who genuinely wants all the adults to succeed, she is willing to go to the extremes if it means getting Teddy to take his learning seriously.
  • Book Dumb: Teddy doesn’t perform well academically, but spent most of his adult life managing a complex social life that allowed him to appear more well-off than he actually was. This becomes justified later when it’s revealed that he has a learning disability.
  • Break the Haughty: Apparently failing high school and being forced to get his GED was a part of the reason why Teddy outgrew his bullying ways and became a Nice Guy.
  • The Bully: Teddy was this towards Stewart in high school.
  • Butt-Monkey: Teddy is this throughout the film. He gets blasted out of a store window in an explosion,
  • The Charmer: Teddy has quite the way with words, which helped him become so good at his original job as a barbecue grille salesman. Even when he's forced to go to night school he tries to use his charms to weasel his way out, only to be denied at every turn.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Teddy bullying Stewart in high school was what caused Stewart to grow up to be a bitter, domineering principal towards the students.
  • Dean Bitterman: Stewart, the school principal of Teddy’s night school.
  • The Determinator: Teddy becomes this by the end of the film. After initially trying to take every single short cut there is and cheat his way into getting his GED, he eventually decides to do it the right way, even if it means failing the test multiple times.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Christian Chicken is an obvious parody of Chick-Fil-A.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Denise (Responsible) and Teddy (Foolish). Denise gets good grades & good scores on her tests. Teddy gets bad grades, flunked high school, and has to go to Night School to get his GED.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why Stewart was mean to Teddy in the first place was due to a grudge he held against Teddy for the latter’s bullying.
  • Incompatible Orientation: At the prom, Teddy tells Carrie they have great chemistry and they would make a great couple together, only for Carrie to turn him down because she is a lesbian.
  • Informed Poverty: Basically justified; Teddy isn't actually as well-off as he appears to be, but he's painstakingly put together a system of finances that allows him to appear to have much more money than he actually does.
  • Jerkass: Stewart until he goes through a Jerkass Realization and later a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Mackenzie, one of Teddy's classmates, is a bit dimwitted, but an overall friendly guy.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Carrie is one as she wears makeup and dresses femininely.
  • Loser Protagonist: Played With. Teddy works at the local dealership. He doesn’t have his diploma and ends up working at a restaurant. Teddy doesn’t seem to mind, though.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lisa usually wears attractive, tight clothing and even sends Teddy a picture of her in bed in lingerie. She's completely gorgeous and Teddy groans after looking at her shapely form in said lingerie when he comes back with homework.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Stewart gets this when his actions indirectly cause Lisa to call off her engagement with Teddy. Stewart feels awful and apologizes to Teddy.
  • Reformed Bully: Teddy used to be one who constantly picked on Stewart in high school. Since then, he's learned the error of his ways (mostly) and has become a much nicer guy.
  • Revenge: The reason why Stewart was so hostile towards Teddy was because the latter bullied him in high school.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Inverted. Teddy was the bully, but now he’s a reformed Nice Guy.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The owner of the dealership takes the insurance and flees, screwing over Teddy to save his own hide.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: At the prom, Teddy shares a dance with Carrie and thinks they got great chemistry together, only for her to tell him she's gay.
    Carrie: Fool, I'm gay! I'm a lesbian! No, I'm gay! I'm gay. I like women! I'm pretty sure.
  • Tagalong Kid: Mila is this from a certain perspective as the only person attending the night school who isn't already an adult, but is a juvenile delinquent attending on the insistence of her parents.
  • The Team: The students form this dynamic during the heist. Teddy is The Leader, Luis is The Lancer, Theresa is The Heart, Mackenzie and Jaylen are The Big Guy, and Mila is The Smart Guy. Bobby serves as a sort of Sixth Ranger since he's in jail and can’t directly help out.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Theresa became pregnant in high school, forcing her to drop out. Now, as an adult, she goes to night school to obtain her GED.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Mila attempts to defy this when she tells Theresa that she's going to try and get into college after getting her GED because seeing the other night school students has given her more incentive not to turn out like them; Theresa assures Mila that she understands what the younger girl means, and even suggests that they try and get into the same college.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Teddy (tiny guy) is this to Lisa (huge girl). Lisa doesn't seem to mind.
  • Training from Hell: Carrie is eventually forced to resort to extreme tactics in order to get Teddy to concentrate and study seriously. Even if it includes beating the snot out of him in a fighting ring.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Carrie is a black, lesbian woman.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Carrie owns Teddy many times in the ring and the poor guy made no effort to fight back. Justified, as Carrie was trying to do an alternate method of teaching.