ld School" is probably not as raunchy or
lowbrow as you may have heard. Well, yes, it's quite lowbrow in some areas, but
compared to comedies like "The
Sweetest Thing" and anything involving Tom Green, "Old
School" is mild. Directed by co-writer Todd Phillips ("Road
Trip"), the comedy follows three 30-somethings who, at crossroads in their
lives, decide to start a fraternity and hilarity ensues. The mere mention of the
film's premise should tell you that nothing about "Old School" should
be taken seriously.
Our hero is Mitch (Luke Wilson), a real-estate lawyer who,
after discovering that his girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) is holding swinger
parties while he's at work, moves out. Mitch is persuaded by his married friend
Beanie (Vince Vaughn) to start the fraternity in question. Of course the
overbearing Beanie is more concern about finding a home away from home in the
guise of caring for his heartbroken friend's well being.
Will Ferrell plays
Frank, a former college party guy who, after getting married, ends up almost
immediately separated and moving in with Mitch. As it happens, Mitch's new home
is located within a college campus, which "explains" Mitch's ability
to turn the house into a fraternity. I guess. Does it matter?
Although Luke Wilson ("Charlie's
Angels") is our leading man here, it's Will Ferrell ("Austin
Powers") that steals the show. The former "Saturday
Night Live" regular livens things up tremendously every time he's onscreen. So
it's no surprise that the movie's laugh-out loud moments all involve Ferrell's
Frank doing one stupid thing or another.
Stupid things like getting drunk and
going out streaking, where he encounters his wife; or shooting himself in the
neck with a tranquilizer gun and then French kissing the guy giving him mouth to
Of course since Wilson is our designated straight man,
we're forced to follow a just-slightly-above-dull movie-long courting session
between Wilson's Mitch and Ellen Pompeo ("Catch
Me if You Can"). Vince Vaughn plays the same overbearing character that
we're used to in movies like "Made"
and others. I swear the man can't seem to play any other kind of roles. Talk
show host Craig Kilborn has a limited role as Nicole's jerk of a boyfriend; he's
such a jerk that he hits on a waitress at a kids' birthday party. What a cliché
It's at this point that I'm inclined to say, "That
whole Third Act is a little silly", but refreshing myself on the movie's
premise prevents me from typing those unnecessary lines. Er, I mean, typing them
"Old School" is a good, ridiculous film that is
funny in many parts and never boring. And in truth, that's really all I wanted.