A film jam-packed with talented comedians (David Cross, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller) would seem a slam-dunk opportunity for big laughs. I don't know how they managed it, but School for Scoundrels is completely forgettable. Jon Heder plays a shy meter maid named Roger. His career is essentially a one-note gag, resulting in a mild chuckle as he chugs along in his meter-mobile at 5 mph. But the chuckle quickly turns into a sigh when you realize there aren't any good jokes coming any time soon. While Roger pines for his fresh-faced neighbor, Amanda (Jacinda Barrett), he lives a shadow of a life: mocked at work and incapable of keeping even his volunteer position as a Big Brother.
Enter Billy Bob Thornton's Dr. P and his extremist class for losers. Now, we've seen Billy Bob pull off some great performances, but in this sleepwalking turn, he clearly has no idea why he's in this movie and is as eager to get through the experience as the audience will be. Roger enrolls in Dr. P's super-secret confidence-building class, which consists mostly of being yelled at by Thornton or harassed by his second-in-command (Michael Clarke Duncan). Some of the supporting players provide a smile as the other class members in search of their "inner lion." But when the story escalates to a Roger vs. Dr. P battle for Amanda, it's hard to muster an emotion or a laugh.
Though Heder is mildly endearing, he should look into finding a new agent right quick.