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National Lampoon's Van Wilder

National Lampoon's Van Wilder

Director:Walt Becker
Cast:Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Kal Penn, Tim Matheson
Genre:Film, Comedy, Teen Flick

By Adele Marley | Posted

From the toga star Ryan Reynolds sports in print ads to the stunt casting of Tim "Otter" Matheson to the brand name in the title, it's obvious the makers of the gross-out comedy Van Wilder want desperately to recall Animal House. But why? Not only can Van Wilder not help but pale in comparison (not something a savvy promoter wants to draw attention to), but it's doubtful that the 1978 comedy classic has any cachet with teen- and college-age audiences weaned on Britney Spears and There's Something About Mary anyway. Reynolds (formerly of ABC's Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place) stars as Van, a rich kid and rowdy party animal who's in his seventh year as an undergrad. Cut off financially by his disgusted dad (Matheson), Van brainstorms a new career as a party organizer (seems that geeks will pay him to throw righteous, well-attended soirées for them) to subsidize his education. Meanwhile, the fetching priss Gwen (American Pie's Tara Reid) is assigned by the school paper to tail the campus legend and blow the lid off the whole Van Wilder phenomenon. It's all pointless and predictable, with a bunch of particularly nauseating gags throw in. Given that one stunt has Van stuffing his dog's semen into pastries he sends to a rival frat house, I'm using "gag" as both noun and verb.

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