Old School – movie review

Starring Vince Vaughn, Will Farrel, Luke Wilson

I want to start by saying that this is Will Farrel’s best performance in years. he was very carefully controlled by the director here, and did not go over the top as he so often is allowed to do. Instead, he was very, very funny. Not the main character in the movie, but possibly given a better storyline and more on-screen time than the main character, played by Luke Wilson.

The basic story is that Luke’s character, who has just discovered that his girlfriend has been cheating on him with multiple partners in ‘kinky’ situations, rents a house of his own. His buddy (Vince Vaughn) throws him a huge party to celebrate his singledom, and since he now lives right near a university, the party is HUGE. The dean (played by the talented Jeremy Piven) has the house re-zoned for school use only in a ploy to try to get him out of there, but his buddies decide instead to use the house as a fraternity. Hijinks ensue.

The dean keeps trying to get them out, they keep finding loopholes in the paperwork/rules to stay, and they keep throwing great parties and are immensely popular with all the students. Luke’s real storyline follows his attempts to get into a relationship with someone less likely to participate in a gang bang, and is diappointing and predictable. Vince’s character, the rich connected buddy who knows how to party, is not the sleazebag the audience expects him to be, always doing the right thing and standing by his friends when they need him. Will’s storyline is much more interesting than Luke’s or Vince’s.

Will gets married at the beginning of the movie, then through a series of misadventures (including a great streaking scene) gets kicked out and goes to live at the fraternity. He continues to want to be with his wife, and wackiness ensues. Really, he’s just the lovable idiot we expect him to be. The things he does wrong aren’t out of malice, they’re because he’s too dumb and too much of a guy to know any better. There is an excellent mishap involving a cameo appearance by Andy Dick about which I have to say this: Yes, there are classes for that, but really they are much better than what you see in Old School.

Overall, Old School is exactly the sort of dumb college-based humor you expect, and since it is not trying to be more, it excells. Will’s performance may be worth the price of admission, and I’d love to see him keep reigning in his talent as a comedian in future projects. There are many, many fun and funny cameos and the pace of the movie is consistant. Oh, and the bulk of the humor is not toilet humor; it remains slightly above that level most of the time. Enjoy Old School. It’s a good time.

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