Review: College

The nadir of homophobic frat-boy humor, College presents a vision of higher education defined by binge drinking, an endless supply of porn star-ready females, and fraternity brothers gripped by an irresistible, insatiable urge to dominate, humiliate and emasculate newbie pledges via latently homoerotic bullying. Every third joke in Deb Hagen’s film is gay-centric, from body shots off a hairy giant, to sloshed kids being ducktaped in blowjob position to campus statues, to the unseen sight of a dude using a pocket rocket on himself. There are countless other such bits scattered throughout this tale of three high-schoolers who spend a

College

The nadir of homophobic frat-boy humor, College presents a vision of higher education defined by binge drinking, an endless supply of porn star-ready females, and fraternity brothers gripped by an irresistible, insatiable urge to dominate, humiliate and emasculate newbie pledges via latently homoerotic bullying. Every third joke in Deb Hagen’s film is gay-centric, from body shots off a hairy giant, to sloshed kids being ducktaped in blowjob position to campus statues, to the unseen sight of a dude using a pocket rocket on himself. There are countless other such bits scattered throughout this tale of three high-schoolers who spend a crazy weekend visiting Fieldmont University, most of them serving as the oh-so-hilarious punchline to a scene in which one of the three protagonists is about to score with an unreasonably hot, easy woman. That this imaginary conception of college is predicated on the notion that incoming students’ greatest fear should revolve around (and the funniest pranks will inevitably involve) being forced into a homosexual situation is depressingly in line with most mainstream guy’s-guy comedies. Still, the extremity and redundancy of this attitude is a monumental drag on the proceedings, which are otherwise of a dismally infantile nature dominated by characters talking about boobs, jerking off and boobs. Kevin (Drake Bell), Morris (Kevin Covais) and Carter (Andrew Caldwell) are, respectively, the milquetoast sweetheart, the uptight nerd, and the loud, obnoxious fatty, friends who wind up staying at a probation-restricted frat house where they’re hazed like prospective brothers. More fortuitously, they also meet and successfully woo out-of-their-league girls who—upon finding out that their new boy toys aren’t yet 18—act more offended at being deceived than at having actually hooked up with immature goofs. This type of lame wishful thinking typifies the wannabe outrageous, but in truth painfully clichéd, College, though ultimately even more pathetically hackneyed than its booze-bongs-babes fantasy is Caldwell’s, third-rate imitation of Jack Black-via-Chris Farley, replete with a Jim Carrey-esque “Alll-righty then” thrown in for awful measure.

Score: 
 Cast: Drake Bell, Andrew Caldwell, Kevin Covais, Nick Zano, Haley Bennet, Gary Owen, Camille Mana, Nathalie Walker, Alona Tal  Director: Deb Hagan  Screenwriter: Dan Callahan, Adam Ellison  Distributor: MGM  Running Time: 94 min  Rating: R  Year: 2008  Buy: Video

Nick Schager

Nick Schager is the entertainment critic for The Daily Beast. His work has also appeared in Variety, Esquire, The Village Voice, and other publications.

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