Ridiculosity 

Old School: Mostly Bad, with a Bit of Good

Old School

dir. Phillips

Opens Fri Feb 21

Various Theaters

Imagine this: You take the early flight back from a business trip to San Diego. You enter your apartment hungry and tired, in hopes of a big hug from your girlfriend and, at the very least, a hummer. Here's what you find: Your gal watching hardcore porno in a negligee (I know, even better!!!), about to be gang-banged by two people wearing blindfolds whom she met on the internet. Ewww.

Anyway, that's what happens to Luke Wilson in Old School, which is why he ends up renting a house near his old college campus, and then, with the help of his pals--who are intent on cheering him up--starting a fraternity bent on partying. I mean, what better way to forget about your girlfriend woes than to spend your time hazing pledges and hosting topless KY Jelly wrestling contests?

The premise of Old School is funny enough, and Luke Wilson's two best buddies, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn, are hilarious characters, but still--the movie kind of sucks.

Yet despite its desperate suckage, for some reason thousands of famous people agreed to be in the film. Snoop Dogg gives a performance at one of the boys' frat parties, Juliette Lewis plays Luke Wilson's penis-crazy ex, Andy Dick teaches a blowjob seminar to some of the female characters, Craig Kilborn shows up to play a jerky womanizer and on and on but practically everyone is rolling their eyes and looking at their watch while saying their lines.

Likewise, Luke Wilson is about as hysterical as a piece of cardboard, and though the film would have been much better off starring someone funnier--like Luke's brother Owen--it wouldn't have saved the script. The whole thing seems like it got slopped together in a week, with actors memorizing their lines three minutes before the scenes.

Old School is all over the place; there's heartbreak, divorce, statutory rape, frat parties, deceit, bribery, ribbon dancing, academic competition, debate, clowns, tranquilizer darts, etc. All this adds up to making a film that's 20 percent funny, and 80 percent pathetic.

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