Lucy Schouten, teen reviewer
No animals, I was assured as the credits rolled, were harmed in the making of this film. I do not recall any scenes in the movie when animals should have been harmed. Maybe this was just a precaution, in case any nervous actors started batting flies on camera or stepped on the tails of cats. Honestly, I was more concerned about the health of the animals who had just watched the "Mr. Woodcock."
"Letting go of your past is hard... Especially when it's dating your mom." This line is quirky and creative and goes well with the story of "Mr. Woodcock."
In junior high, John Farley's chosen shape was oval, and he endured endless emotional and physical abuse from his gym teacher, Mr. Woodcock. Years after the bounding basketballs and woeful wrestling demonstrations are over, John Farley has grown into an upstanding citizen. He has written a very popular book about letting go of the past, and returns to his hometown to receive an award for this achievement.
When he learns that his mom's boyfriend is the same gym teacher who made him miserable in junior high, he learns that letting go is not as easy as he said it was.
John Farley stoops to gossip and spying to break up his mother and teacher, ruining the lives of everyone around him and acting like a nutcase. At the climax, everybody loses it and the entire family ends up changed for the better. Don't ask me how.
"Mr. Woodcock" is a revolutionary film. It challenges the stereotype that a comedy should be funny, asking for tears, instead of laughter. At least, I hope the sad and downright distressing attempts at humor were not intended to produce laughter. The characters were not comic. Seann William Scott as John Farley went from cool celebrity to backward basketcase. Billy Bob Thornton was a fairly good, evil gym teacher. Farley's mom, Susan Sarandon, was the only normal character, and she spent the whole movie being shocked at her male counterparts. Although the characters may have been good, the actors had no storyline to use.
"Mr. Woodcock" is about a teenage boy dealing with the emotional damage of a ruthless physical education teacher. I have had good luck with coaches. This review is about a teenage girl dealing with the emotional damage of a terrible movie. I am still in shock.