Movie Review
Old School
Old School poster
By Craig Younkin     Published February 22, 2003
US Release: February 21, 2003

Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Vince Vaughn , Luke Wilson , Will Ferrell , Ellen Pompeo

Running Time: 90 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $75,150,000
One of the funniest flicks you will see all year long
Old School is the kind of movie people need right now; it's dumb, funny, and in the end damn inspiring.

This is less a college comedy than a comedy about guys being able to throw away all the commitments of marriage and work for a short time in order to experience being free again. Old School follows the concept of Animal House very closely, but there is also a hint of originality to it, which makes it a hair better than most of the immature teen comedies around.

The movie follows Mitch (Luke Wilson), a guy who comes home one night to find that his wife (Juliette Lewis) is having group sex with people she met online. After the divorce, Mitch packs up his things and heads for his new home: a residence on the outskirts of the local college campus. According to his two thirty-something and married pals Beanie (Vince Vaughn) and Frank (Will Ferrell), the place can be their gold mine; they can throw parties, hang out with teenagers, and relive their youth. Only one problem: they have nothing to do with the campus and so it is only a matter of time before the "jerk" Dean (Jeremy Piven) throws Mitch out of his new house. This gives Beanie an idea. What if they started their own fraternity? Then they would have a legitimate on-campus affiliation and Mitch would be able to keep his new home. The rest involves them recruiting fraternity members, or in other words, the outcasts of the college and also a couple of other people including an 89 year-old guy, and also their dealings with the "jerk" Dean.

Written and directed by Todd Phillips, with writing help by Scot Armstrong, Old School is stupid fun that fortunately never lowers itself by putting in excessive gross-out material. But that doesn't mean it isn't laugh-out loud hilarious. Phillips and Armstrong throw in a few surprises, one-liners, and some priceless material involving cinderblocks, streaking, and women sucking carrots. The result is one of the most consistently funny teen comedies I've ever seen. At times, your chest will hurt from laughing so hard and that is only a reminder that you?re watching three of the best comic actors in the business. Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Vince Vaughn show so much comic accuracy and charm that you literally feel like jumping out of your seat and rooting them on.
Wilson is very good at balancing both being a nice guy and being cynical; he isn't an in-your-face kind of comic actor, and that more toned down delivery makes Mitch as likable as he is funny. Unlike Vaughn, who's much better at the in-your-face stuff. Vaughn is very good at playing scheming jerks, giving them enough idiocy to make them funny while playing them with enough restraint and charm to make them likable. And Ferrell is nothing but goofy, and the movie is usually at its funniest whenever he's on screen.

Old School rocks. It's one of the funniest flicks you will see all year long, no matter what age group you fall into. So forget Daredevil and see three real heroes fight the powers that be and save the world from maturity. You won't regret it.
Craig's Grade: A-
Craig's Overall Grading: 340 graded movies
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'Old School' Articles
  • Lee's review B
    February 9, 2003    Consistently laugh-out-loud funny -- Lee Tistaert