Billy Bob Thornton
Todd Phillips’ previous works, Road Trip and Old School are extremely funny movies. When American Pie 2 and other college-oriented comedies were being released back-to-back, Road Trip and Old School stood out. They established Todd Phillips as a top dog amongst comedy directors. But then came Starsky and Hutch, and now, the appalling School For Scoundrels.
Phillips seems to have developed a knack for casting nitwits catching their “15 minutes.” Tom Green? Come on! Jon Heder? Come on again!
Heder plays another Napoleon Dynamite-type (good luck escaping that one, pal) whose dorm is populated by self-help books, and couldn’t get a date with either one of his hands.
School For Scoundrels provides only a handful of laughs, most of which come from Billy Bob Thornton, who if not for him, the movie would be 100% unwatchable, as opposed to only 85%. The rest of the “LOLs” if you will, come from a toned-down Sarah Silverman.
The movie provides a number of scenes involving Thornton’s classes, including one where he teaches his students how to interact with women on dates. The camera eyes one student, pans around, and oh, look, Michael Clarke Duncan in drag! Hardy har har!
Rolling Stone magazine referred to the film as “Bad Santa meets Napoleon Dynamite!” Umm…why? Because it’s deathly unfunny and repetitive? Or because the star from each is in this one? By that logic, wouldn’t that mean that Casino is Stanley & Iris meets Home Alone 2?
Let’s get out the big red marker, shall we?
Alternate Ending (4:05): Jon Heder doesn’t die, I’ll say that much. Therefore, you can skip this one. Basically, it’s the same ending only not on the plane.
The Making-of You Didn’t See on TV (19:28): AKA ‘The Making-of You Didn’t Want to See Anyway’. No, this is actually very funny, with the cast (from Thornton to David Cross) poking fun at the values of Scoundrels, insisting it is an Oscar contender and will inspire a new cereal—also: confidential information on Phillips’ very personal relationship with his dog. A hell of a lot more amusing than the movie itself.
A painfully unamusing Gag Reel (2:10) and the Theatrical Trailer round out this “Ballbuster Edition.”