New Line Cinema
Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott
It's School for Scoundrels
redux, only this time with an even more annoying Hollywood brat (Seann William Scott) as the milquetoast girlie-man who squares off against an increasingly typecast Billy Bob Thornton. While Scoundrels
was just mindless slapstick that sometimes hit the mark, Mr. Woodcock
is patently offensive trash, celebrating the humiliation and abuse ' mental and physical ' of children as an introduction into manhood, after exploiting that abuse for cheap comic effect. Scott plays John Farley, a best-selling self-help guru who stops off in his Nebraska hometown only to find that his widowed mother (Susan Sarandon) is bumping uglies with the same gym teacher (Thornton) that caused the once-overweight John his painful childhood some 13 years before. Woodcock
is supposed to be amusing, but it's awkward, unpleasant and unfeasible, relying on the premise that the title character would still be teaching after perpetrating just one of the public degradations the movie depicts, let alone hurling basketballs at prepubescent crotches for 20-odd years. Amy Poehler, as John's alcoholic agent, gets the only laughs.