Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

The School for Good and Evil: the stars come out to play

Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, and Kerry Washington in The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil is about the magic world of fairy tales and the battle for good and evil between the heroes and villains who live in those stories. It’s the kind of movie where big name actors come out to ham it up and play everything over the top just to have fun.

The School for Good and Evil, all 2 1/2 hours of it, snatches up lifetime BFFs Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie) from their ordinary lives. A giant bird with about 6 feathers on its bony frame, carries them to the School for Good and Evil.

Sophia Anne Caruso and Sofia Wylie in The School for Good and Evil

The bird drops Sophie, who imagines herself as a beautiful and very good princess, on the evil side. Wait, that can’t be right! Agatha, a skeptic who wants to be home caring for her mom, falls on the good side. Wait, she doesn’t belong here at all!

But they’re stuck.

Their teachers include Lady Lesso (Charlize Theron), the evil one. The good one is Professor Dovey (Kerry Washington). They will develop the magical powers of their charges. The School Master (Laurence Fishburne) is sure the girls are in the right places, and wouldn’t admit a mistake even if he made one.

The underused Professor Anemone (Michelle Yeoh) instructs the good girls in beauty and smiling. She reveals two very important plot points as part of her beauty skills. If you fail three times at your powers, you poof off into some other creature and are gone who knows where. Plot point number two: you can escape the school if you get true love’s kiss.

When Agatha hears this news, she runs to the evil section of the school to inform Sofie about true love’s kiss. Sophie wants to kiss the heroic Tedros (Jamie Flatters). Of course kissing between the good and evil sides of the school is against the rules.

Sophie and Agatha are disruptors. They create uproar in the the school. They discover how powerful they are and how capable they are of creating change. They question everything and don’t play by the rules. They’re awesome. We should put them in charge of fixing the climate catastrophe and uniting the two U.S. political parties.

The poster for The School for Good and Evil

The film is based on books by Soman Chainani. Paul Feig adapted them for the screen and directed the film. In addition to all the actors mentioned already, Patti LuPone and Rachel Bloom took tiny parts and Cate Blanchett did voice only work.

For completeness, I must add the following. The true love! The hair! The outfits!

There was true love’s kiss between [spoiler]. There was lots of magic and cgi. There was a happy ending. You can see the trailer on YouTube and watch the film on Netflix.

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