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todd phillips

Old School is just one of those movies that you can pop in the DVD player at any time and watch it because it never takes itself seriously and boils down to stupid, harmless fun. While the movie doesn’t go for the same gross out edge that we have seen in previous teen-college-movies like American Pie and Road Trip, it does feature a great many parts where you will find yourself slurping down the bile in the back of your throat.

After Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson) comes home early one evening from a business trip in San Diego he finds his girlfriend engaged in a threesome with another couple. It seems Heidi (Juliette Lewis) has a thing for gang-bangs and Mitch is the last person to know, so he moves out, and buys a house on his old college’s property. Coming along for the ride is Frank (Will Ferrell) who has just recently been married and has been finding couple-hood a bit demanding, and Beanie (Vince Vaughn) a successful business man who is trapped in his marriage.

When the college-comedy-staple “Evil Dean” comes to shut things down at Mitch’s place for not using the college’s property to the benefit of the college, Mitch must band his makeshift fraternity together and pass a series of trials set down by the college committee for houses looking to be formally recognized as frats.

Coming off last weeks mediocre showing for Daredevil, I wasn’t expecting much from Old School, but early reviews had it filled with the humor of American Pie and the charm of, well, let’s just say it had charm. The most interesting character in the entire movie is Will Farrell’s Frank who is absolutely funny throughout the entire film. It is entirely obvious that Saturday Night Live was holding Will back in his creative exploits. Playing a Roxbury Guy can only get you so far in life. While Frank is the funniest, Beanie is a scene stealer. Every frame that features Vince Vaughn is stolen by him with witty comments about marriage and the happenings of the guy’s fraternity.

The movie has it’s fair share of gross out humor. The scene pegged the most would be the KY Jelly wrestling scene in which two girls take on a very old fraternity member and end up killing him in his place. The very thought of wrestling in KY is so gross it just boggles the mind. But not all of the comedy is low-brow, and while a majority of it hangs in the gutter, there is some times when just basic visual jokes and stereotypes come into play. Such as the fat kid, the geeky kid, the Evil Dean, etc.

The producers did try to entangle a love story into the mix, with mixed success. Nicole (Ellen Pompeo) is the girl that Mitch lusted after in school, and how convenient she would turn up just after he broke up with his girlfriend (isn’t it funny how those things tend to happen). Unfortunately she is currently seeing someone else (Craig Kilborn) who has a knack for the knockers of other girls. Through misunderstands and misinterpretations they fight, but them come back together when she learns of her boyfriends cheating ways.

Old School comes away as a playful romp that doesn’t stick with you very long after you have seen it, but it doesn’t have to. Movies like these are to be enjoyed time and time again because, frankly, you don’t remember the first time you saw it. Just like director Todd Phillip’s Road Trip, Old School has a certain way about it that makes it stand out from the “other” teen movies. I, for one, am glad I can watch this movie and safely go home and consume different kinds of pastry, believing I didn’t see them befouled onscreen like American Pie and Van Wilder.