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USA: New Line Cinema
UK: Entertainment Film Distributors
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott, Susan Sarandon, Amy Poehler, Ethan Suplee, Melissa Sagemiller, Jacob Davich, Kyley Baldridge, Alec George, Joseph Michael Sargent, M C Gainey, Brent Briscoe, Dave Kuhr, Lisa K Wyatt, Kurt Fuller, Michael Santorico, Corbin Albaugh, Melissa Leo, Stephen Monroe Taylor, Bac DeLorme, Jennifer Aspen, Lyle Kanouse, Zia Harris, Brad Beyer, Michael Mishaw, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Emily Wagner, Googy Gress, Tyra Banks
Director: Craig Gillespie
USA & UK: 87 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic material, language and a mild drug reference
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate sex references and language
USA Release Date: 14 September 2007
UK Release Date: 28 September 2007
Students at Forest Meadow Middle School have to endure PE classes that are not periods of leisure time, but rather are exercises in mental and physical humiliation administered by the tough as gristle Mr Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton).
Run more like a military boot camp than a gym class, Woodcock's physical education class takes on a new meaning where no child's flaws or weaknesses are safe from the torture and embarrassment that follow the sound of the despised teacher's whistle.
Former pupil John Farley (Seann William Scott) is now a successful writer and motivational speaker and has put the painful memories of being in Mr Woodcock's class behind him. The author of the national bestseller Letting Go: Getting Past Your Past, has given him stability and self confidence. When a last minute cancellation on his book tour gives him an unexpected day off, John returns home to surprise his mother, Beverly (Susan Sarandon), with the news that he will be awarded the small town's prestigious "Corn Cob Key" during its annual Cornival Festival.
John's jubilation quickly turns to unease when he discovers his mother has fallen in love with Mr Woodcock. Forced to spend time with his old nemesis, John must endure the familiar sting of his former teacher's sharp tongue and intimidation tactics all over again. Ignoring the pleas of his hard-nosed book publicist Maggie (Amy Poehler) to get back on tour, John extends his visit in an effort to disrupt the relationship between his mother and Woodcock, but with each passing day he finds himself regressing deeper into the insecurities and awkwardness that plagued his youth.
Mortified and panic-stricken by the inevitability of his mother marrying the one man he truly despises, John enlists the help of his old school mate, Jay Nedderman (Ethan Suplee), in one last desperate and final attempt to take down Mr Woodcock. The result is a series of hilarious confrontations that lead John to discover that one's past is often hard to escape.