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National Lampoon's Van Wilder
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Tim Matheson, Kal Penn, Teck Holmes, Erik Estrada
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Artisan Entertainment
Kiddie Movie: For the sake of the world, leave them at home.
Date Movie: Don't take her after dinner or lunch, she might throw up on your shoulder.
Gratuitous Sex: Some scenes, and nudity!
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Lots of them if you're easily amused.
Memorable Scene: Van at Gwen's parent's house having them do body shots.
Memorable Quote: "That's no bong, it's for my schlong!",  "Who's Air Supply?"
Directed By: Walt Becker
Produced By: Robert Levy, Peter Abrams, Andrew Panay and Jonathan Komack-Martin

National Lampoon's
Van Wilder

A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:32 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
You know my propensity for being easily amused. Well, there I found myself in a movie theater watching "National Lampoonís Van Wilder" with, it seems, about 40 other people who are just as easily amused. As much as, during one scene in the movie, I might have lost my lunch on the people in front of me had I eaten lunch, and other than the ending of the movie being totally predictable, I actually liked "Van Wilder." You probably wonít like it unless, like me, you are also easily amused.

"Van Wilder" tells the story of, well, Van Wilder. Heís the cool dude in college. Heís the dude whoís been in college forever, or at least seven years. Heís the dude in college who you'd think was a pig but has a kinder, gentler side. Heís the dude, much like our staff writer Big Cooter, who we never thought would get out of college, mostly because he was having too much fun while there. Well, it almost seemed like Vanís days at college were over because daddy, Vance Sr. (Tim Matheson), finally realizes his son has been in college for seven years and yanks his tuition money. Wondering what to do, and spending his last $38 at a nudie bar, Van comes up with the idea for Topless Tutors. Money is starting to roll in until the nudie bar owners get a little pissed, so now Van is stuck with no source of income. But what is Van good at? Heís an excellent party planner, and after planning a lovely skating rink party for the geek fraternity, and an expose in the campus paper written by Gwen (Tara "hubba-la-bubbala" Reid), assigned to investigate Van by her editor, well, Vanís source of income as a party planner is firmly established.

So yea, youíve now got Van planning parties, and Gwen trying to interview Van, but Van starts to get smitten with Gwen, even though Gwen has a boyfriend, and Gwen actually becomes smitten with Van, much to the disgust of the boyfriend, Dick (Daniel Cosgrove). Yea, the fight for Gwen begins, pranks begin, and dog semen somehow becomes good filling for doughnuts. Dick gets his revenge by getting Van expelled, Van gets his revenge thanks to Gwen, and all is well with the world because Van finally realizes that he hasnít graduated yet because he is afraid of the real world. Duh. And, oh yea, he gets the girl if you couldnít figure that out for yourself.

The story sounds kinda simple and childish, and it is. Maybe thatís what I liked about it. Youíve got Vanís assistants, Hutch (Teck Holmes), and Taj Mahal Badalandabad (Kal Penn) always by Vanís side, diligently doing anything Van asks (Taj hires on as Vanís assistant because he wants to get laid), youíve got the fraternity portrayed as a bunch of arrogant pricks (sure, you get the cheap laugh because the fraternity is Delta Iota Kappa, DIK for short, complete with the sorority girl wearing the "I Love DIK" t-shirt), and in terms of gross out, this time I almost vomited.

Now a lot of criticism has been heading the way of the "National Lampoon" label, and in a way, rightly so. They used to be known for some classics, namely "Animal House" and "Vacation," but things arenít leaning well in terms of classics anymore. Is "Van Wilder" destined to be one of those classics? Doubtful, very doubtful, but if youíre looking for mindless humor, "Van Wilder" wonít make you think much. The story is simple, the jokes obvious, but if you let yourself be an easily amused sixteen year old where a line like "Naomi backward is 'I moan,'" can make you laugh, you might like the movie. If youíre looking for the next "Animal House," head to the video store and rent the original.

The person in me trying to honor the art of filmmaking says I should give "National Lampoonís Van Wilder" maybe 1 star, but the easily amused person in me gives another star for the idea of Topless Tutors, and a second star added for almost making me vomit. That takes a lot. And so, adding things up, itís 3 stars out of 5 for "Van Wilder." It could have been 5 out of 5 if Tara had gotten naked, but I guess you canít ask for everything.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!

 

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