I saw the Alan Bennett movie "The History Boys" the other day. I was a big fan of his "Madness of King George", but I didn't like this one so much. It was intelligent enough, with wonderful dialogue--at least when the teachers were talking--but sooooo sentimental in its portrayal of the boys. They weren't like that in English schools in 1983. I know, I was at school only two years before. It's a very middle-aged hang-up to look back wistfully at youth as a time for young lions roaring with innocence and beauty. As I remember we were uniniteresting, unintelligent, overly-competitive malevolent little shits. And we would have bottled any teacher who tried to grope us on a motorcycle. But maybe that was particular to my school.
I didn't like all the singing either. I know the film came from a stage play, but the falseness of its original form kept intruding on the reality of the cinematic presentation and reminding you that you weren't looking in on another world, you were just watching something someone had written, something people were acting.
But what do I know? Knocking Alan Bennett in this country is almost equivalent to spray-painting a statue of Churchill.