At colleges and universities across the country, graduations, the ceremonies that mark the transition from studenthood to adulthood, are upon us. The outside of classroom student life has long fascinated movie -makers. This month, “Neighbors” will open in theatres. “Neighbors” is about a family that lives next door to a fraternity. Because of their raucous reputations as hotbeds of irresponsible male behavior, frat houses have been welcome settings for films aimed at, well, young hedonistic males. “Old School,” which was released in 2003, depicts an assemblage of males for whom the “graduation” mark was not a precursor to maturity.
“Old School” is about three 30-something friends. One is the slightly more responsible, Mitch (played by Luke Wilson), who endures a bit of a crisis after he finds his girlfriend, Heidi (played by Juliette Lewis), hosting an orgy (he was not invited) at their home. His friends are Beanie (played by Vince Vaughn), a family man who owns several electronic stores, and Frank (played by Will Ferrell), who recently got married. After breaking up with Heidi, Mitch moves to a house near a college. His friends think it would be a good idea to use the house as a fraternity, to throw parties for themselves and the actual students. Mitch is initially reluctant, but Beanie and Frank are able to convince him. However, the college dean (played by Jeremy Piven), who knew them years earlier, tries to get them shut down.
“Old School” is a very funny movie, in the category of males behaving badly genre. The party scenes are hilarious. In one of the best scenes in the film, Frank gets drunk and streaks.
The cast is excellent. Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Vince Vaughn are all strong in the lead roles. Although none of them are perfect, they are still sympathetic characters. Jeremy Piven is also quite good as the villain of the movie. Another solid performance is by Ellen Pompeo, who plays Nicole, Mitch’s love interest.
“Old School” is a great choice for fans of raucous comedies.