An unlucky meter reader enrolls in a confidence-building class so he can win the love of the girl of his dreams. The class turns out to be something quite different when it becomes clear to the young man that his professor has his sights set on the same girl. Written by
Scoundrel is synonymous with Thornton, Heder is unusual choice for a leading man
Roger (Jon Heder) is a wimpy parking meter attendant for NYC. After losing his uniform to thieves on the job and being dumped from the big brother program, he is despondent. Add to this his unrequited crush on a beautiful neighbor named Amanda (Jacinda Barrett), and you have a man on the proverbial ropes. However, a well-meaning friend gives him information about a secret class in male self-esteem, run by the harsh Dr. P (Billy Bob Thornton). In class and on outings, Dr. P uses tough tactics to turn his unfortunate students into successful men. But, what happens when Dr. P decides to put the moves on Amanda, after a chance meeting? Does Roger have what it takes to thwart Dr P's efforts and win Amanda for himself? This is a fairly nice but easily disposable film. Thornton is, of course, a natural choice for the scoundrel teacher and he delivers a good-and-slimy performance. Barrett is beautiful and touching as the love interest, adding greatly to the film's enjoyment. Heder, although a good comic performer, seems all wrong as a romantic lead. But, perhaps it is a bit refreshing for someone without the knockout good looks to go for broke in the love department. Ben Stiller has a fine cameo as a wacko ex-student of Dr. P. The setting in NYC and the costumes are nice. All in all, the film is a satisfying view for a rainy day. But, it doesn't seem like a movie that will be remembered or talked about five years down the road.
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