Old School appeals to all, gives expression to comic genius

One week after Valentine’s Day, it’s the guys’ turn to drag the girls to a movie. After working hard to get flowers and candy, the time has come when the gentlemen can take it easy, bask in the glory of a well-spent romantic holiday and expect their significant other to follow them to a movie of their choice.

The men finally have their way at the box office with Old School. This comedy about living a teen’s dream at the age of 30, seems like the perfect choice for any guy. But, the truth is, Old School is not just a guy movie.

It has a wide appeal, and after word-of-mouth it should become popular with anyone old enough to be admitted to an R-rated movie.

Yes, Old School is rated R. For that reason, annoying teeny boppers should not disturb anyone’s viewing experience at a well-staffed theater. After a recent series of bad, PG-13 rated comedies (Stealing Harvard, Shanghai Knights, National Security) Old School offers a change. There’s no holding back: Everything can be said and everything can be done. And everything is.

Beginning with Will Ferrell running naked through town (which may show a little bit more than some audience members want to see) and ending with K-Y Jelly half-nude wrestling, the movie covers all ground, from the obscene and crude to the truly innovative and clever skits.

Starring Saturday Night Live graduate Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn, Old School is about three guys past their college years, who, by chance, land a house near campus property. They begin a fraternity, partly for their own enjoyment and partly due to rules imposed by the college’s dean (played by Jeremy Piven in a role reversal from 1994’s PCU). But, things get a bit complicated as time and parties progress into the school year and the brotherhood must fight to stay alive.

The plot seems trivial, that’s true. But the movie, while certainly lacking depth and meaning, is not. It is a pure example of comic genius from writer/director Todd Phillips (Road Trip). Stealing the show is Vince Vaughn, the master of the cynical, sarcastic, biting comedy. Although he has limited screen time, he gives himself fully to the audience in each of his scenes.

Just as entertaining is Ferrell, as the naive and endearing one of the threesome. He shows his versatility as an actor again and proves that he can make almost anyone laugh.

The movie is no Oscar contender and doesn’t come anywhere close to having a message or a moral. And maybe that’s for the best. Its focus on comedy is its strength and it produces more belly laughs, chuckles and snickers, thereby leaving those PG-13 college comedies in its dust.

Comedy, R, Running time: 91 min.

Contact Olga Robak at oracleolga@yahoo.com