School for Scoundrels

Jon Heder continues to prove he’s no leading man, and Billy Bob Thornton repeats himself in this rather drab, pointless time at the movies. The film wants to be some sort of dig at self-help classes and inspirational coaching, but instead, it’s a bland retread of nerd movies. Heder plays Roger, a traffic cop prone to panic attacks who has his uniform and money stolen on the job after passing out during a confrontation. Roger has a crush on Amanda, a beautiful Australian girl in his building (played by the charming Jacinda Barrett), but he has no courage to ask her out. Thornton plays a sort of tough-love, self-help guru with an emotionally violent approach. When Roger does well in his class, he decides to up the ante and go after his girl. Thornton is just doing his Bad Santa act again, and he brings nothing new to the party. Heder is more suited to smaller supporting characters. With the exception of Napoleon Dynamite, he just doesn’t cut it as the center of a film.

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