Jason Schwartzmann (The voice of Ash from Fantastic Mr Fox
) plays Marc Pease; a high-school graduate who never grew up or left, even 8 years later. He still hangs around the school as he dates a student (Anna Kendrick - Up In The Air
) and still dreams of landing a record deal for his high school acapella band - Meridian 8 - the fact there are only four remaining members is not going to stop him... Ben Stiller (Zoolander
) plays the morally ambiguous Jon Gribble - the school's musical theatre director - who bears a grudge for Marc after he ruined his production of the Wizard of Oz nearly a decade earlier.
The Marc Pease experience is largely a musical feature, the songs are well written and sung by the capable cast (most surprising is Anna Kendrick's note-perfect singing voice) and it's always a high-school-musical feeling number. At several points in the film I got annoyed with Jason Schwartzmann's irrational delusions of grandeur as it felt two-dimensional and frustrating. Ben Stiller's character is disgustingly saccharine for the most part but has a very nasty side to him and this is the only acting present in the whole film as most of the cast seem to be content playing cardboard cutouts.
There isn't really much of a message in the film and the ending left me feeling indifferent as I had nothing in common with the protagonist (something 99.9% of viewers will feel) and resultantly it was very difficult to empathise with Marc Pease. Light on laughs and story, you may enjoy this for the musical aspect, but little else.