Review: School for Scoundrels

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  September 29, 2006 @ 11:59am

Filed under: Reviews

Jon Heder stars as Roger, a meter maid who lacks self confidence, and all he wants in the world is to ask out his cute neighbor, Amanda (Jacinda Barrett).

Roger gets some advice from one of his friends about a class that helps people with self confidence and that the class did wonders for his friend.

The class is taught by the mysterious Dr. P (Billy Bob Thornton) and his bodyguard Lesher (Michael Clarke Duncan). Dr. P's class seems to echo that Roger has to stop treating himself like a loser and become a man. With each lesson, Roger seems to feel better and better about himself. He even takes Amanda out on a date.

It is then that Dr. P's hidden agenda is revealed and it will push Roger further than he could possibly imagine and it could destroy any happiness he envisioned with Amanda. Is Roger up for the challenge? What is with this sadistic doctor any how?

School for Scoundrels was brought to us by director Todd Phillips, who created films such as Starsky & Hutch, Road Trip, and Old School. Phillips seems to be the go-to guy lately for 20-something comedies. His comedies are some of the most successful in recent years.

The problem with his latest film is that it loses its humor and direction about halfway through the film and it seems like Phillips forgot what film he was trying to make. The competition scenes betweek Heder and Thornton should be hysterical and the main focus of the film's second act, but instead they aren't funny but rudimentary.

I really liked Billy Bob's teacher and Heder does well as the loser, but the film just isn't funny after a certain point. Both characters wear out their welcomes and we are left yearning for the credits to role.

School for Scoundrels will probably go down as Todd Phillips's weakest comedy to date and that is for good reason. (2.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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