Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa)
Seann William Scott (American Pie)
Susan Sarandon (Tammy)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Melissa Sagemiller (Get Over It)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly)
John Farley (Seann William Scott) is a successful self-help author who returns to his hometown in Nebraska to receive an award. Farley arrives at home and learns that his widowed mother Beverly (Susan Sarandon) is dating his former Physical Education teacher Jasper Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton). Farley disapproves of the relationship because he remembers Woodcock as an abusive bully.
Woodcock and Beverly become engaged and the majority of the film centers on Farley’s attempts to convince his mother to break off the relationship. Farley becomes increasingly obsessed with beating Woodcock at various competitions and with proving that Woodcock is not a suitable mate for Beverly. Farley’s antics are so childish and extreme that his new love interest Tracy (Melissa Sagemiller), a former classmate, refuses to see him again.
Farley is set to receive his award at the same ceremony where Woodcock will be presented with an award for “Educator of the Year.” Woodcock receives his award first and is praised by numerous members of the community for being a great teacher and influence on children. Farley is unconvinced and devotes his entire acceptance speech to explaining why Woodcock is the “biggest asshole on the planet.” Woodcock and various crowd members refute Farley’s points, and Woodcock then challenges Farley to a fight. Beverly witnesses the confrontation and dumps Woodcock.
The next day, Farley has a heart-to-heart conversation with his mother, who tells him that he is selfish and has always sabotaged her relationships with men after his father’s death. Farley realizes she is correct and attempts to apologize to Woodcock. The two have a final exorcising fight, which leads to Woodcock suffering a concussion. Farley and Beverly visit Woodcock in the hospital and all three seemingly make peace. Farley declares that the key to life is not “getting past your past” but instead learning to embrace your past. He opines that Woodcock’s vicious treatment in gym class helped him become the man he is today.
The film ends with several short scenes cut into the final credits. These scenes reveal that Woodcock and Beverly got married, Farley was reunited with Tracy, and Farley wrote a second book entitled Backbone: The Definite Guide to Self Confidence.
The cast looked like they just had a great time. I know this story was extremely predictable, but it was all in good fun. Mr. Woodcock is a fun comedy that I recommend, Billy Bob is just an awesome Mr. Woodcock, he really made the movie into a blast.