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Stealing Harvard

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Stealing Harvard

Starring: Jason Lee, Tom Green
Director: Bruce McCulloch
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 83 Minutes
Release Date: September 2002
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Dennis Farina, John C. McGinley, Chris Penn, Megan Mullally, Leslie Mann, Dennis Farina, Richard Jenkins, Tammy Blanchard

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

First there's the good news about STEALING HARVARD, starring Tom Green and Jason Lee. It is not nearly as bad as Green's last picture, FREDDIE GOT FINGERED, which is literally one of the worst movies ever made.

The bad news is that STEALING HARVARD doesn't even rise to the level of a bad television sitcom. The film's PG-13 rating spares us from the worst of Green's notorious excesses, but he does chew up the scenery with abandon in one pratfall and gross out joke after another. The moment you see trash cans along the road, you can be sure that he will run into them with his van. Poor Jason Lee, an accomplished actor with a long string of superior supporting roles in films like MUMFORD, does his best, but the material lets him down at every turn. STEALING HARVARD's supporting cast don't even waste time trying to act. They just read their lines and leave.

The plot concerns a forgotten promise that John (Lee) made to Noreen (Tammy Blanchard), the daughter of his trailer trash sister, Patty (Megan Mullally). After Noreen lost the spelling bee in grade school, John promised that he'd pay for her college if she was ever accepted. Noreen has been accepted into Harvard and will need an extra thirty thousand dollars over and above her scholarship money in order to matriculate. This sum turns out to be exactly the amount that John needs in order to marry Elaine (Leslie Mann), the ditzy blonde with whom he lives. Eventually John turns to his old buddy, Duff (Green), whose solution is that they should steal the money. Of course, it doesn't prove to be as easy as Duff suggests. And the movie isn't easy to endure. Save yourself the pain by never starting to watch it in the first place.

STEALING HARVARD runs a long 1:23. It is rated PG-13 for "crude and sexual humor, language and drug references" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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