Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dirty, rotten...

Among the executive producers for All the King's Men, which I endured last week, two names stand out. One is James Carville, the consultant and strategist who helped Bill Clinton ascend to the White House. The other is Todd Phillips, best known for making Old School. Fortunately, the latter is back in his element with School for Scoundrels, which I saw in advance Wednesday night.

The formula still works: putting emotionally stunted men in an continuing education setting is a situation ripe for comedy. Roger (Jon Heder) is a shy metermaid who is mired in self-help books and has panic attacks and fainting spells at the slightest confrontation. He enlists in a secret class taught by Dr. P (Billy Bob Thornton), who uses wildly inappropriate means to give his students the confidence to become real men.

It's not clear how the class is actually working for the students -- that part seems to have been edited out -- but the film switches gears when Dr. P senses that Roger is doing too well and decides to compete for the affections of Roger's neighbor Amanda (Jacinda Barrett). The rivalry dominates the rest of the movie, and viewers give up continuity to delight in some dirty, rotten tricks.

Ostensibly, this is a dark comedy. A few choice moments, but ultimately I wished it were either more dark or more comedic. Still, it was better than All the King's Men.

Story 69 September
at least enjoyed Sarah Silverman.

She watched from the stands as her hero, number 6,
defied gravity. She’d long admired his big hands and
curly locks on television, but had never gotten this
close before.

Another miraculous shutout. She grabbed a notepad,
snuck into the locker room, and worked her magic.

Within weeks she knew she had failed. But there was
hope: her favorite actor was about to shoot a film in
the area.

1 comment:

Mainline Mom said...

Your movie reviews are great. And your 69 word stories are even better :)