Mr. Woodcock | Chicago Reader

Mr. Woodcock

Seann William Scott stars as self-help author John Farley, on a road trip to promote his new book. When Farley returns to his hometown, he discovers to his horror that his widowed mom (Susan Sarandon) is planning to marry his old coach, the bane of his grade school existence and the person most responsible for shaping his self-help philosophy. There aren't that many laugh-out-loud jokes in this comedy, yet Billy Bob Thornton's portrayal of ass-kicking gym coach Mr. Woodcock is almost worth the price of admission. For a time it seems writers Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert will deliver the goods on their premise, which is rife with comic possibilities. But under Craig Gillespie's uninspired direction, the humor eventually settles into stale, familiar pratfalls. PG-13, 87 min.

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