Going Greek
Arts Alliance America // Unrated // $24.99 // August 26, 2003
Review by Don Houston | posted August 24, 2003
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Movie: Ever since I saw the hit movie, Animal House, I've had a warm fuzzy spot in my heart for movies with a college theme. That movie came out 25 years ago and countless attempts have been made by talented directors to imitate the film by using a mixture of comedy, sex, and college style humor. Apart from a couple of decent attempts along a similar vein, Van Wilder and the American Pie movies come to mind, none have really succeeded. The best of this genre of movie tends to be released during key release windows, in order to maximize their box office receipts, and the absolute worst tend to be given the ultimate raspberry label, straight to video. Such is the case with a terrible little movie, Going Greek.

The movie centered on a couple of cousins, Gil (Dublin James) and Jake (Dylan Bruno), who pledge a fraternity. Gil's whole life has centered on doing so and Jake is pressured to join or his cousin will get the old heave ho. Speaking of which, there was a subplot where Jake courts a gal named Paige (Laura Harris). Anyway, the fraternity wants Jake because he's a former all star football player and they have a game against a rival fraternity coming up. If that sounds like the beginning of a direct_to_video movie, it is. This one rated right down there with Revenge of the Nerds 3 and PCU in terms of acting, plot, and lack of humor. The only thing going for it is the fact that it reportedly cost under $200,000 to make. While it looked like it cost that much (or less), it's still good to know.

Okay, watching movies where the cast is way older than the characters are supposed to be (like Grease or Beningi's Pinocchio) sometimes requires a suspension of disbelief that borders on ridiculous, with reasonably decent acting or an intelligent script, it can be done. Sadly, this is not the case here so I'm left to assume the movie was going solely for the cheap laugh. To be fair, there were about 10 or 12 jokes that were funny enough to make me slightly smile (like a Mona Lisa smile) but for a regular length movie, that's not enough. There wasn't enough sexual antics or nudity to cover for it either. In short, the movie left me completely cold most of the time. Even as a guilty pleasure, it's value would be limited to watching while drunk or stoned.

A comedy that's not funny with a largely predictable romantic subplot is not the advertised "Animal House Meets American Pie!" as displayed on the front dvd cover. I've been to college and lots of fraternity parties and all the stuff that took place in the movie may well have happened in real life (more likely in the creatively devoid mind of the writer/director), it just wasn't presented in a manner that would cause sober people to consistently laugh. Without anything to really like, I'm rating this one as a Skip It!.

Picture: The picture was presented in 1.85:1 ratio widescreen color. There was some edge enhancement and certain areas of the movie were very grainy. Most of the time, it didn't look bad but there were compression artifacts, some mosquito noise, and some color bleeding at times.

Sound: The sound was presented in Dolby Digital English 2.0. The vocals were usually clear and the music didn't always sound distorted.

Extras: The dvd case advertised a number of extras but none were included on my copy of the dvd. There was no paper insert either.

Final Thoughts: With all the good independent movies being released on dvd these days, all the good comedies, and all the other fine films, there's simply no reason to suggest this one as one you should watch. Most of the story was a rehash of other, better, movies and the preachy tone of the film was very off putting. Putting together generic characters like a nerd, a jock, a stoner, a fat guy and the token Black dude in the hopes of making a funny movie without a good script or direction is akin to throwing a bunch of raw materials in a heap in hopes of them magically transforming into a Cray supercomputer-it could happen in theory but it's not likely.

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