School for Scoundrels (2006 film)

School for Scoundrels (2006 film)

School for Scoundrels is an American 2006 comedy film, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder, and directed by Todd Phillips. The film is based on the 1960 British film of the same name. The film was released on September 29, 2006 and is rated PG-13 for language, crude and sexual content, and some violence.

Plot summary

The plot mirrors that of the original film. Roger (Heder) is a put-upon loser in society - subject to ridicule from co-workers and more - who dreams of dating the foreign graduate student who lives in his building (Barrett). To overcome his lack of self-esteem, he signs up for a course taught by Dr. P (Thornton). After participating in lessons similar to those in Fight Club, Roger begins to develop a sense of personal pride. Wanting to prove that he's still got his edge, Dr. P starts competing with Roger for Amanda. After a competitive tennis match in which Roger humiliates him, Dr. P enlists the talents of Roger's classmates to frame Roger as an obsessive stalker. Roger uses his authority as a meter reader to impound Dr. P's car, and in retaliation Dr. P gets Roger fired from his job. Roger learns of Dr. P's plans for Amanda from a depressed former student (Stiller) and with the aid of fellow losers in the class sets out to save Amanda and prove Dr. P's duplicity.

Dr. P's rules of dating

  • Be dangerous; it's cool
  • No compliments, EVER!!!
  • Always get the girl alone
  • Wherever you are, the place is lame!
  • Relate to her
  • Lie, lie, and lie some more



  • Nice guys graduate last.
  • Life's a game. Learn how to play.
  • Too nice? Too honest? Too you? Help is on the way.
  • Lie, lie, and lie some more.

Differences between original and remake

The character of Dr. P is an homage to the headmaster of the fictional Yeovil College of Lifemanship, Stephen Potter, in the original 1960 film. The Lifemanship books on which both films are based were written by the real Stephen Potter. Both films feature a tennis game between love rivals as a set-piece.

In the original 1960 film Potter is the ally of the hero, who helps him try to get the girl. The villain played by Terry-Thomas uses his instinctive gift at lifemanship to outdo the hero. In the remake, the role of the villain and the professor have been merged into one character.

In the original the hero ends up rejecting the philosophy of lifemanship in favor of behaving honestly. In the remake the hero becomes a master of lifemanship, outwitting his own teacher.

Comparisons to other films

The film has been criticized for borrowing from Anger Management and Fight Club, especially the scene in which the "losers" are assigned to confront strangers à la Fight Club.


External links

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