Old School
Dreamworks // R // February 21, 2003
Review by Blake Kunisch | posted February 9, 2003
Highly Recommended
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It's pretty obvious whom this film is geared towards - from the trailers, it's easy to see it's a college-themed film, and when they mention that the film is directed by the guy who did Road Trip, rather than just saying Tony Phillips, there's no doubt that they're aiming for the college crowd.  Have they succeeded?  Most definitely.  One of the funniest films I've seen in a while, Old School easily triumphs over such lackluster sequels like American Pie 2 and any film from the Scary Movie series.

Poor Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson) just doesn't have anything going for him.  His job sucks, and upon returning home early from a seminar, he finds his serious girlfriend watching an adult movie (which excites Mitch at first), until the two blind-folded naked people emerge from his bathroom.  Mitch moves out, finding a place of his own, and his two best friends - Frank (Will Ferrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn) help him move in by throwing a party - Mitch-a-Palooza.  After a quite successful party, good ol' Dean Pritchard (Jeremy Piven - in a hilarious reversal of roles) visits, and quite predictably tells the trio that they've only got a week left in the house, as it is owned by the university and is being rezoned.  Of course, Beanie, the "brains" of the operation has the brilliant idea that the house can become home to a fraternity and the fun begins.

While the script may not be the most original, the three actors, along with the rest of the fraternity cast are able to move the movie along at a brisk, hilarious pace and sustain the movie for the full ninety minutes.  Luke Wilson, the sweet/normal one of the three, is perfect in his role as he tries to cope with his recent break-up and eventually, through the fraternity, toughens up a bit and rather than being pushed around by those around him, finally takes charge.  Vince Vaughn, the illiterate millionaire - owner of six large home theater stores - fits the mold perfectly as a married guy trying to get away from his family and help his good friend out - while at the same time escaping the binds that annoy him.  The real star of the movie though is Will Ferrell.  He's great as "Frank the Tank," a recently married man who has to hide the real Frank as his new wife forbids him from expressing himself.  Thanks though to the fraternity, the real Frank is allowed to come out - although it causes rough times in the marriage.  And while the real Frank is a real riot - there is a certain point at which you've had too much of Will Ferrell's ass - funny as it is.

With the recent lackluster lineup of comedies in theaters, such as Just Married, Old School is a bright spot as it doesn't purport to be something it isn't.  Plain and simple - this is a comedy.  And it delivers the laughs for the full 90 minutes.  And make sure not to leave when the credits begin to roll - there's even more laughs waiting after the film is over.

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