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John Farley, a self-help author returns to his hometown only to discover that his mother has fallen in love with his old high school nemesis, Mr. Woodcock - the gruff, no-nonsense gym teacher who had put him through years of mental and physical humiliation. Determined to prevent history from repeating itself, John sets out to stop his mother from marrying the man who had made life miserable for him and his classmates.
PROFANITY: 1 F-word, 16 S-words, 1 GD, a number of others. SEX/NUDITY: Briefly heard sex. VIOLENCE: Comic hits and wrestling. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol and tobacco. ACTION: A wrestling scene. COMEDY: Silly slapstick and one-liners; kid humor.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 77 moviegoers:
TEENS:Three-quarters of the males and almost as many females LOVED "MR. WOODCOCK." However, a fairly significant number actually hated this movie. If you're a fan of Billy Bob Thornton's crude style of humor then this movie's for you.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS:The male opinions are in the above average to below average range. Close to half thought it was pretty good and half thought it wasn't very good, but no one truly hated it. The female opinions are actually slightly better, but there are fewer of them so they're not as helpful. Can't really recommend it, except for maybe a matinee.
ADULTS:The male opinions aren't too bad. About a quarter really enjoyed it and most of the remaining reviews are average to above average. The female opinions are only slightly lower. Since most everyone enjoyed "Mr. Woodcock," at least to some degree, I can recommend it, but not strongly.
For students at Forest Meadow Middle School, P.E. class is not playtime, but rather an exercise in mental and physical humiliation administered by the tough as gristle Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton).
Run more like a military boot camp than a gym class, Woodcock's physical education class takes on a new meaning where no child's flaws or weaknesses are safe from the torture and embarrassment that follow the sound of the despised teacher's whistle.
For John Farley (Seann William Scott), author of the national bestseller Letting Go: Getting Past Your Past, the painful memories of being in Mr. Woodcock's class have since been replaced by the self confidence gained from becoming a successful writer and motivational speaker. When a last minute cancellation on his book tour gives him an unexpected day off, John returns home to surprise his mother, Beverly (Susan Sarandon), with the news that he will be awarded the small town's prestigious "Corn Cob Key" during its annual Cornival Festival.
John's jubilation quickly turns to angst when he discovers his mother has fallen in love with Mr. Woodcock. Forced to spend time with his old nemesis, John must endure the familiar sting of his former teacher's sharp tongue and intimidation tactics all over again. Ignoring the pleas of his hard-nosed book publicist Maggie (Amy Poehler) to get back on tour, John extends his visit in an effort to disrupt the relationship between his mother and Woodcock, but with each passing day he finds himself regressing deeper into the insecurities and awkwardness that plagued his youth.
Mortified and panic-stricken by the inevitability of his mother marrying the one man he truly despises, John enlists the help of his old school mate, Jay Nedderman (Ethan Suplee), in a last-ditch attempt to take down Mr. Woodcock. The result is a series of hilarious confrontations that lead John to discover that one's past is often hard to escape.