Projections - Movie Reviews

Old School

Old School

It's to be expected that Old School feels devoted to reliving the spirit of National Lampoon's Animal House with director Todd Phillips backed by executive producer Ivan Reitman, once in frat-house heaven with John Belushi.

This raucous comedy will probably be embraced by admirers of Phillips' Road Trip as the crudeness sometimes inspires quirky fun before a neat, but sobering conclusion.  Living the life of irresponsibility also was done well in Reitman's Stripes that starred Bill Murray.  Here, the triad of Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn as Beanie, and Will Ferrell's Frank is good casting.

Wilson's Mitch, like the other two, is around 30 and has made a life for himself as a successful real-estate lawyer.  But, he comes home too early from a business trip to catch a glimpse of the lifestyle his girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) secretly covets.  The depressed guy moves out and rents a house adjacent to the local college campus.

Frank is a newlywed and, with confident Speaker City owner and salesman Beanie have an idea to enliven the place for students, as well as themselves.  It irks the bespectacled, mannered Dean Pritchard (Jeremy Piven) and isn't really Mitch's cup of tea given his emotional state.

Phillips, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scot Armstrong, imparts a Jackass The Movie tone that gives Old School a surprising early momentum.  There's a retro feel that Adam Sandler might have used for The Wedding Singer as Mitch drowns his sorrows as Frank's best man.

The vanity of Old School reaches some giddiness that reawakens those lazy, crazy college days even if it sticks to old conventions in the end.  Maybe it will provide Ferrell the chance to have a career like some of the more successful "not ready for prime time players."

Old School

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