Old School

Anybody watching Old School will instantly think of Animal House or any of the other numerous college/fraternity movies throughout the years. Yet, the actors give enough of the ol' college try and the anarchic spirit of the script isn't as derivative as normal, making Old School tolerable, and at times, even (gasp!) amusing. Part of the reason is that the movie is less college romp and more older guys trying to regain their former glory. Everybody can somehow identify with this. Director Todd Phillips (Frat House) is the main person responsible for Road Trip. He co-wrote the script for this movie with Court Crandall and Scot Armstrong (Road Trip), so the crude humor is there and in force.

Things go into motion when Mitch (Luke Wilson, The Royal Tenenbaums, Soul Survivors) discovers his wife is cheating on him. He divorces her, and falls into a deep depression. His friend Beanie (Vince Vaughn, Domestic Disturbance, Zoolander) decides to start a fraternity in order to cheer him up. It doesn't matter that they are well out of college; they find some loopholes and go about earnestly rushing new pledges (whether or not they are in college). Also joining them is their newlywed friend Frank (Will Ferrell, Zoolander, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) who is having severe second thoughts about his marriage.

Mitch is reluctant about the idea, and for whatever reason goes along with it even as things worsen. Frank reverts to his old, hard-drinking persona, and the pledges begin causing problems. Campus officials are trying to shut the frat down. Mitch meets Nicole (Ellen Pompeo, Daredevil, Catch Me If You Can), who he had a crush on in high school. Basically, Mitch and Frank are trying to rebuild their lives, and Beanie is the little devil that sits on their shoulders and whispers bad ideas to them. Ironically, as much as Beanie complains, he seems to be a happy father and husband.

Still, most of Old School is nothing more than excuse for sex jokes, drinking jokes, college jokes, and combinations of the aforementioned. Many of the jokes fall flat, but enough give a small chuckle here and there. In particular, Ferrell gives a fearless (nude) performance, trying to relive Frank's glory days. As the movie nears its conclusion, things get worse and events move further out of the realm of reality. If it means anything, Phillips was never going for anything sophisticated. He wanted to make a stupid movie, and succeeds.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 31 minutes, Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, and language.

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