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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

Old School (review)

If the Animal House guys tried to recapture the wackiness of fraternity life when they were suddenly faced with the real-life demands — wife, job, kids, house — that come in one’s 30s, the result would be as sad as this would-be comedy. Luke Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums) is a charmer, as always, but his doormat of a dork isn’t strong enough — or weak enough — to carry even this slight tale. When his more dominant pals run roughshod over his life, setting up a party-hearty “fraternity” in his house, Mitch neither resists them enough nor gives in to the bacchanalia enough to make him — or the story — engaging enough to spend 90 minutes with. There are minuscule nuggets of should-be conventional wisdom buried under the nude Jell-O wrestling and binge drinking — in Vince Vaughn’s (Made) Beanie, who’s not quite the rogue he pretends to be, and Will Ferrell’s (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) Frank, who’s feeling justifiably stifled by his new wife. But as the wishy-washy “nice” guy, Mitch is unfortunately a perfect example of today’s Regular Guy, who just blows with the winds of nonchange, letting the good and the bad wash over him with equal indifference.

MPAA: rated R for some strong sexual content, nudity and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
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