Van Wilder
1 out of 5 stars
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party liaison The brainless, unfunny campus comedy lives on in this mind-numbing film that tries so desperately to be zany and rude that it's painful to watch. Van Wilder (Reynolds) is in his seventh year at an L.A. university, during which time he has become the campus king, organising parties, helping needy students, and so on. Then his dad (Matheson) decides to cut his funding, and now Van must pay his own way and face the future! Meanwhile, a student journalist (Reid) is assigned to write his story, and as she digs she starts to fall for Van, much to the shock of her frat-boy boyfriend (Cosgrove), who of course plots revenge.

Yawn! As if the premise wasn't trite enough, the film fails to deliver a single decent laugh, although it tries on every level (mostly gross-out, it must be said). The cast is OK, particularly Reid, who always adds a bit of class to these terrible films. But Reynolds plays it exactly like Jim Carrey in wise-guy mode, which is thoroughly irritating from the start. Otherwise, the characters only exist to do supposedly shock comedy gags (Indian exchange student Penn obsessed with sex, fraternity groupie Rutherford suffers multiple indignities). There isn't an inspired moment in the entire film, which is at least bright and energetic enough to keep us awake for 90 minutes. And then they have the nerve to try and pound in a meaningful message at the end. Oh please.

cert 15 themes, language, vulgarity 23.May.02

dir Walt Becker
scr Brent Goldberg, David Wagner
with Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Kal Penn, Daniel Cosgrove, Teck Holmes, Emily Rutherford, Deon Richmond, Alex Burns, Tim Matheson, Paul Gleason, Curtis Armstrong, Tom Everett Scott
release US 5.Apr.02; UK Sep.02
02/US 1h32

Big man on campus. After seven years at university, Van (Reynolds) is the campus king. With his faithful pooch at his side.
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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall