Movie Mom

It would take more time to list all of the things that were awful about this odious movie than it would be to watch it again. I’d rather not do either one.

This is a movie about a purportedly loveable slacker named Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) who has been the big man on campus for seven years. His father (Tim Matheson) pulls the financial plug, and Van has to find a way to pay his tuition so that he can stay on for more of what he loves about college – parties.

So, like any enterprising young man, he starts up a business: Topless Tutors. It is wildly successful until the strip club owner decides he wants his dancers back. Van finally finds his true calling in life –- he’s a party planner with a specialty in debauchery, sort of Martha Stewart crossed with Hugh Hefner.

Meanwhile, intrepid campus reporter Gwen (Tara Reid) decides to write about Van. Despite the fact that she has a pre-med frat-president boyfriend, she finds herself drawn to him. And despite the fact that Van has spent seven years being benevolent but distant, he finds himself being drawn to her.

Around this slight plot contrivance are strewn many gross attempts at humor involving bodily functions and excretions, both human and animal. They include a prank involving ingestion of dog semen inside éclair filling, getting children drunk (and having them barf), and feeding an extremely powerful laxative to someone just before an exam with no bathroom breaks. It is also supposed to be funny that what appears to be oral sex is just a woman measuring Van for a pair of pants while sucking on a lollypop and that Van is forced to have sex with an elderly woman who wears a wig. Are you laughing yet?

There is a half-hearted attempt to portray Van as all right at heart because he raises money for campus causes and befriends people that others might think of as losers. The movie tries to have fun including cast members from classic teen comedies like Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, Risky Business, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and American Pie, but all it does is serve to remind us of how much better those movies were. (I admit that I had not anticipated ever using some of those movies in the same sentence as the word “better.”)

The script is unforgivably sloppy, with dialogue that sounds like people who don’t know very much English made it up on the spot. It does have many vivid and imaginative euphemisms for female body parts and oral sex.

Parents should know that this movie has the grossest and most disgusting humor imaginable, involving every possible bodily function. There are extended jokes about the size of a dog’s testicles. Characters drink to excess. Van’s beneficence includes getting compliant girls for boys who would otherwise not have anyone to have sex with.

Audiences looking for a better movie in this genre should check out the closest thing to a classic it has produced: National Lampoon’s Animal House.

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