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Frat Pack Tribute Movie Review: School for Scoundrels (unrated)

Review by Brandon Angelilli

For those who haven't seen School for Scoundrels, the movie is a about Roger, played by Jon Heder, whose a wuss and he's the kind of awkward, shy guy who never gets the girl or the promotion. The guy who eats by himself and doesn't go out with the rest of the gang. Not a loner, just alone. He does try to be a good guy and he volunteers as a Big Brother at a YMCA type of place but the kids don't like him as he is too needy. His friend, played by David Cross, runs the YMCA place and tells Roger of a secret program that builds confidence. And the plot begins from there with Billy Bob Thortan's character, Dr. P. Of course Roger is the standout and Dr. P is notorious for competing with his star student so the rest of the movie is about the two guys' competition for one girl, Roger's love intrest.

Heder was really good in this and brought many laughs and nice moments I, sadly, could relate to. Billy Bob wasn't very funny but he played an asshole well. Actually, until the confrontation scene happened, I wasn't liking this and then I started to laugh a lot more and the laughs really took off once the competition started.

Roger's love intrest, Amanda, is played by Jacinda Barrett. Barrett wasn't very good in this movie. True, she is not given much to do with her role, but she doesn't exude any charisma or charm. She didn't do much to stand out like Rachel McAdams or Jenna Fischer would. Either of those would have been MUCH better for this role.

Matt Walsh, Haratio Sanz and the rest of the class were all pretty good too, especially "Moby" and his shtick. I'm a big fan of Sarah Silverman so I was excited to see her in this. I wasn't disappointed by her role but she didn't bring the funny in a big way like I hoped, although she did make me smile a lot and she played a perfect bitch. Her best line actually comes during the credits and involves Sanz. Michael Clark Duncan was scary. Perhaps more frightening than in Daredevil the Director's cut. He was not his usual "teddy bear" self here.

Aside from the thought that this movie might be funny and I'm a fan of Jon Heder and Sarah Silverman, there was one real reason I saw this: Mr. Ben Stiller. He pretty much had a minor role but he created a great character that was actually a mix of his usual two character types he plays so well: over-the-top or awkward and abused. He used a little of both and he served it up nicely! I wish he would have been around a little more but I won't complain. His character has a funny ending that I won't spoil here.

Anyway, contrary to most other reviewers, I really dug the film. Maybe cause I saw the Unrated cut first which really like a Rated R version for language cause "fuck" is used many times. It made me wonder if Todd Phillips had intended to make a Rated R movie to begin with but the studio didn't like that. He should have stuck with Dreamworks.

Fans of the Frat Pack Classic Meet the Parents or Adam Sandler's Anger Management will have plenty to chuckle about as we see Heder's character get fucked over so many times. Watch the movie to see if he can find redemption.

****

Netflix, Inc.