FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 -- Director Malcolm D. Lee understands the concept of "Geoff Burton's #1 Rule of Movie Comedy". That rule simple states that in order for a film to truly be a comedy, it must have at least one hysterically funny scene. He nailed it in his last film "Girls Trip" when he had the gals zip line from balcony-to-balcony. Remember? It was impossible not to laugh and extremely difficult to stop.


That film - that scene - was comedian Tiffany Haddish's coming out event. That's the one scene in which she announced "I'm here, I'm cute and in the properly staged scene, I'm funny as hell!" They were rewarded with a domestic gross of $115 million on a production budget of only $19 million. That is a great profit margin by any standard.


In his latest film he pairs Tiffany with one of the hottest comedians currently working now, Kevin Hart. (If "Night School" is successful could we see a near future film with Hart, Haddish and The Rock? Hmmm) To try to capture an audience starting a little younger, both Haddish and Hart toned down the expletives and the film is rated PG-13.

It revolves around Hart's character Teddy as a high school drop out who can't grasp many things, especially math. He goes on to become a successful barbecue grill slaeman with a drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend in Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and a Porsche he can't afford. He's about to propose to Lisa when his entire world blows up - literally.


Without his job, his lifelong friend Marvin (Ben Schwartz) suggest he come work with him at his financial planning business. The one problem is that in order to get the job, Teddy will need to get his General Equivalency Diploma (GED). The only place that offers the GED is his old high school which is now run my his old nemesis Steward Taran Killam.


The person who teaches the GED class is a tough as nails underpaid teacher, Carrie, with whom Teddy already had a traffic run-in. She nevertheless invites him to her evening GED class with the intention of getting him his diploma. The class is made up of a group of castoffs including a horny housewife (Mary Lynn Rajskub), a conspiracy theorist (Romany Malco), a convict (Jacob Batalon) and others.


The story is run-of-the-mill "Breakfast Club" fare with an older set of characters. However, most of the comedic set-ups involve the banter between Hart and Haddish. Most of them. The one knee-slapping, side-splitting scene involves Rob Riggle when he tries a leap of faith during the stock break-in scene. It's that one scene, much like Haddish's zip-line scene in "Girls Trip" that truly makes this film a comedy worth seeing.


Don't be misled, this is a Hart-Haddish showcase, but that scene is killer and most of the other cast do their parts to contribute to an overall decent comedy experience. Note: Tarn Killam was pretty much unfunny, though his role was significant to the plot.


There are couple of scenes that could have easily been edited out of this nearly two hour film, including most of the prom scene. But it is not enough to detract from the film, only adding unnecessary length.


"Night School" is a better than average comedy that builds up to one really funny scene and is carried along by the comedic talents of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.   -- GRADE C- --   GEOFF BURTON