School For Scoundrels (2006)
Reviewed on 2007 April 17
I know this is a remake, and those are usually pretty loathsome, but I really enjoyed this. I didn’t see the original — I’m still looking for it — but this worked for what it is.
Roger (Jon Heder) just can’t win. He’s disrespected at his job by the public and his co-workers, he can’t get the nerve to ask out his dream girl, Amanda (Jacinda Barrett), and Amanda’s horrible roommate Becky (Sarah Silverman) takes a special delight in being cruel to him. One day when things come to a head, a friend(?) gives him the number of a man who will help: Dr. P (Billy Bob Thornton). Dr. P claims to take losers and mold them into winners, if they just listen to him and his testosterone-bloated colleague Lesher (Michael Clarke Duncan). Even the dweebs who make Roger look like a player show some improvement, but Roger is an exceptional student. Too bad Dr. P is threatened by his progress. Soon Roger finds himself battling his teacher.
Todd Phillips directed this, and co-wrote it with Scott Armstrong. Even though it was a remake they did it well; both the plot and dialogue work here. The acting was good from everyone, but Heder was exceptional. I’d like to see more of Michael Clarke Duncan too. He went from the gentle John Coffey in The Green Mile to Lesher, a guy who probably ground up the class nerds and sprinkled them on raw meat before eating it.
Three chocolate morsels.