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Old School

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Old School

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson
Director: Todd Phillips
Rated: R
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: February 2003
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Will Ferrell, Ellen Pompeo, Juliette Lewis, Craig Kilborn, Elisha Cuthbert, Andy Dick, Jeremy Piven, Seann W. Scott

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

If you're into crude, gross comedy, you're the lowbrow target audience for this "National Lampoon's Animal House"-meets-"Frat House" that revolves around three thirtysomething men who, seeking to avoid responsibility in the midst of crisis situations, start their own fraternity.

Mitch (Luke Wilson) is a rather uptight realtor who returns home early one afternoon from a business meeting to discover his live-in girl-friend Heidi (Juliette Lewis) cavorting with two undressed, blindfolded playmates. He immediately moves out and finds a rental home just off-campus in the college town where his buddies, Frank (Will Farrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn) still live. Newlywed Frank soon regresses to a Frank-the-Tank alter-ego and Beanie, supposedly a settled salesman with a wife (Leah Remini) and kids, yearns to be carefree again. So the rental becomes a Party House, where Snoop Dogg and his band rock a bacchanal and there are KY-jelly topless wrestling contests. Disapproving of their determination to recapture youth is the vengeful Dean of Students (Jeremy Piven). Much of the comedy is drawn from the obvious impossibility of juggling juvenile behavior with adult relationships, particularly when Mitch, now known as "The Godfather" rekindles a high-school crush on divorcee Nicole (Ellen Pompeo). Having made a documentary called "Frat House" (1998), writer/director Todd Phillips was familiar with the concept and collaborated on the screenplay with Court Crandall and Scot Armstrong, with whom he had co-written "Road Trip." But the bawdy fun and stupidly forced humor is not as inventive as "Animal House" and the genital jokes are not only insulting but often homophobic. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Old School" is a vulgar, tasteless 4. Enroll at your own risk.

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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