Mr. Woodcock (Alliance, 2007) D: Craig Gillespie, w/ Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott. Rating: NN; DVD package: N
Somewhere on the short but not short enough making-of doc, somebody says that Billy Bob Thornton’s comic acting is “so subtle you don’t realize he’s being funny.” That’s like fucking so feebly you can’t feel it. It’s also a fair comment on Mr. Woodcock’s level of laughter.
When the cast and crew aren’t explaining their perfectly obvious movie or insisting on how funny they find each other, they’re patting themselves on the back for achieving such realism. They are tragically deluded. What they fondly imagine to be realism is mere conventionality, a movie that looks and moves like a bland everyflick.
They’re also misguided. In Mr. Woodcock, somebody hides under the bed while people are screwing in it. That’s not realism – that’s farce.
As the guy who reverts to childish hatred when he learns that his old gym teacher (Thornton) is dating his mom (Susan Sarandon), Seann William Scott lacks the manic intensity to drive his extreme reactions. Only Amy Poehler, as Scott’s brittle agent, seems to realize what kind of movie she’s in. Thornton and Sarandon, both good, are largely wasted.
EXTRAS Making-of doc, phys ed trauma tales, deleted scenes. Widescreen. French subtitles.