Jon Heder continues to carve out a niche as the premiere weird guy in School for Scoundrels. He follows his star-making turn as the audience-dividing Napoleon Dynamite and as the nose-picking baseball neophyte in Benchwarmers with the role of a meter maid with low self esteem.
The concept seems rather silly. The story sees Heder enrolling in a top secret confidence training class in order to learn how to be a man. What kicks the potential up a notch are the presence of David Cross, and, in the role of teacher, Billy Bob Thornton. Not to be forgotten is the rest of the supporting cast, which features Michael Clarke Duncan, Horatio Sanz, and Jacinda Barrett.
The problem I see with Heder is that for as much as I enjoyed his Napoleon, his characters just seem to be variations of the same thing. Take off the wig and put on a different set of clothes and you have Napoleon on a baseball field, or Napoleon in the city. Still, he is a rather humorous fellow, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
His role here looks pretty funny as he changes from the loser who passes out when talking to a girl to a guy who wages war with his confidence coach for the affections of his dream girl. Not necessarily an original concept, but one that could be made fresh with the right script and cast. Does School for Scoundrels fit the bill? We'll see.
The trailer is up on the Quicktime site, be sure to give it a glance. School for Scoundrels is set to be released on September 29, 2006 by the Weinstein Company. It is rated PG-13.