The year’s most unabashedly stupid film could also end up as the year’s funniest movie in the face of a never-ending string of 2003 superhero related release dates. But for February, Old School is an unexpected and hilarious surprise, as proud to be funny as it is to be dumb.
Old School stars Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and that really old bearded guy who always seems to pop up whenever a bad comedy needs someone to play a really ancient and disgusting bit part, as three 30somethings trying to recapture their youth. As luck would have it, Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson), buys a house right on college campus. His timing is perfect, since he finds himself on the outside of a long-term relationship and his friends start feeling their age while wishing for their good old college days. In an inexplicable and totally asinine twist, the trio turn Martin’s house into a fraternity, attempting much as Edward Norton did in Fight Club, to build a brotherhood of men, accepting all ages and walks of life under the tutelage of Mitch Martin, “The Godfather”. Unlike Fight Club, any fighting that takes place in Old School generally involves topless women and a swimming pool filled with KY Jelly. I think I like this way better.
Hey Lorn Michaels: This is the sort of movies Saturday Night Live alums ought to be making. Stop trying to relive the success of Wayne’s World by making those bad sketches into something bloated and unfunny. Will Ferrell has found his voice, a place where all that short bursting, wacky talent can actually pay off. I can’t think of any film in which Ferrell wasn’t at least a little bit funny, but in Old School he clearly kicks it up another notch. Wilson, Ferrell, and Vaughn all play off each other beautifully, and Luke proves that while he still isn’t as talented as Owen, he just may have something worth watching.
This is a movie about capturing that horribly trapped feeling guys get inside when they realize the parties are over and that maybe they want them back. I think. Look, what does it matter? Maybe there isn’t a point to it. This is pure comedy. Insane, hilarious, perfectly crafted comedy. One of the most genuinely gut busting movies I’ve seen in a very long time. Maybe the movie seems stupid, but
Honestly, who cares if this says something important? There’s nothing really redeeming or socially relevant about Old School, except when it tries to shove in a love story, perhaps to string the faint hearted along. Instead, Old School revels in stupidity, rolling around in a world where plot holes are meaningless and character coherency is irrelevant when you’re just too busy being god awful funny to care. Had it committed fully to that premise, Old School could have been a true comedic classic, but it lets itself get weighed down towards the final act, looking desperately for a lovey-dovey happy ending.
Normally I’m against seeing Will Ferrell nude, especially for extended periods of time. Now though, I have to find a way to cope with the fact that I like seeing him flaunt his naked body… and might even secretly want more. Dull moments aside, make it a point to stumble across the smart comedic stupidity of Old School.
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