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School for Scoundrels

A kick in the ass
By TOM MEEK  |  September 27, 2006
2.5 2.5 Stars


Billy Bob Thornton in School for Scoundrels
Boot-camp therapy for lovable losers has long proved a sure-comic formula. If Hitch was a peck on the cheek, then Todd Phillips’s retelling of the 1960 British film (based on Stephen Potter’s novel) is a kick in the ass. It’s Napoleon Dynamite meets Bad Santa, and why not? The personae of those films are pretty much extenuated here. Dynamite’s Jon Heder plays Roger, a dorky meter “maid” who has a crush on Amanda (Jacinda Barrett), his next-door neighbor, but can muster only a panic attack in her presence. Santa’s Billy Bob Thornton is Dr. P, an audacious bastard running a night school for losers yearning to be winners. It’s all fun and empowerment games for Roger — until Dr. P sets his sights on Amanda. Thornton powers the film with his demonic sneer, and Sarah Silverman is a snotty plus as Amanda’s contemptuous roomie. Phillips (Old School) is on his game too, but as the film swings towards conclusion, the lesson plan loses its way.

On the Web
School for Scoundrels 's Web site: http://www.schoolforscoundrels-movie.com/

Related: Sexual Politics, The Benchwarmers, The 100 unsexiest men 2007: 100-91, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Napoleon Dynamite, Sarah Silverman, Billy Bob Thornton,  More more >
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