In a futile but ambitiously decadent attempt to revive the loony legacy of National Lampoon comedies, Van Wilder will make you laugh out loud, or vomit, or both. It's that kind of movie, in which the title character (playe... more »d by sitcom survivor Ryan Reynolds) is the resident slacker of Coolidge College for seven years and running. Enjoying his party-animal supremacy and reluctant to fulfill his potential, he's got an idolizing assistant from India (Kal Penn, the movie's ethnic stereotype, desperate virgin, and comedic highlight), and a journalism major (Tara Reid) assigned to uncover the secret of Van's controlled anarchy. Unfortunately, the movie's more Down to You than Animal House, opting for familiar teen romance over campus shenanigans, despite an abundance of flatulence, diarrhea, sicko sex jokes, gratuitous nudity, and one gag (involving a bulldog) that's disgusting by any standard. Keg-fueled frat-rats will surely elevate Van Wilder to semiclassic status; all others are urged to proceed with caution. --Jeff Shannon« less
And you thought American Pie had a weird dessert theme...
Troy Kearney | Shreveport LA | 10/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"National Lampoon brought the raunchy and raucous college world to the mainstream kids back in the 1970's with Animal House, which would go on to virtually springboard the careers of several of its stars, including John Belushi and Tim Matheson. But for those of us who may have been born after the original release of AH and raised on films like the American Pie trilogy get a new version of Animal House for the new generation with Van Wilder.
Van (Ryan Reynolds) is the virtual definition of a slacker in the college world, having spent seven years attending Coolidge College. He is pretty much the life of the party and he revels in it greatly. It's only until his dad (Matheson) finds out that Van is still in school and places a halt to Van's tuition payment that he realizes that it's time to get his head in the game and find a way to graduate and pay tuition.
A story printed by the school's star reporter Gwen (Tara Reid) causes Van to become a party planner and raise the money for his tuition, along with the help of his closest friend (Teck Holmes of "Real World" fame) and his personal assistant (Kal Penn). When a relationship develops between Van and Gwen, Gwen's pretentious boyfriend Richard tries to put a wedge between them. When Van learns of this, he gets a little revenge in one of the most ingenious and disgusting ways ever devised (trust me, this has the humping a pie thing beaten hands down, no pun intended...)
Van Wilder is pretty hilarious in spots and somewhat disgusting in others, particularly the classic payback Van pulls on Richard and later on when Gwen also gets a little revenge on Richard when she learns a little something that Richard did behind Gwen's back. Also, Penn and Holmes have some gut-busting moments in support and is it nice to see Matheson deciding to continue his association with National Lampoon by bridging the gap between Animal House and Van Wilder.
A word of advice, though: if you have a weak stomach, this is not the movie for you. But if have that type of sense of humor that thinks that letting one rip loudly in public causes you to double over with laughter, then definitely check out Van Wilder."
Comedy, Poetry, Hot Chick
DebW | 10/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll begin with a confession: I was reluctant to watch this film. It was snobbish on my part. A recent interview with Tara Reid in MAXIM portrayed the actress as a shallow ditz, and I doubted that the voluntary suspension of disbelief would succeed in allowing me to see her as serious college student Gwen Pearson. This was the crux of my objection to NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER. My husband cleverly defeated my opposition with the "Yes, but she's a really hot chick" argument, and we bought the DVD. To my surprise, Reid pulls off the act, dropping words like "pander" and phrases like "benevolent agenda" as if they had belonged in her personal vocabulary bank all along. The writing goes far beyond clever. It's down right poetic, with lines dance on the ear like a butterfly on a buttercup. Take, for example, "That's no bong! That's for my shlong!" Watch out Shakespeare.Best of all, the movie answers the age-old question: What was Ferris Bueller like in college? Van Wilder (Ryan Reynonds) fits the mold rather closely. He's a philanthropist who knows how to have a good time. He's funny, good looking, and popular with just about everyone. Brilliant ideas like topless tutors and the naked mile run are a-dime-a-dozen with this guy. Most importantly, he gets away with everything. I'm glad I didn't get away with turning my nose up at this delightfully amusing film. So even if you're skeptical, give it a try, and don't neglect to consider that Tara Reid's a really hot chick."
Totally fun college flick!
Troy Kearney | 02/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Comedies are my favorite films, and I love this movie, one of the best I've seen in a long time. I've seen several teen-flick comedies, but this one takes the cake, even over "Road Trip" which I thought was a hoot. Perfect timing on all the quips and humor, and this comedy is just plain college fun. Yeah, there's a small message in there about growing up and realizing your potential, but it's woven in pretty well without the sappiness. Small scenes in this movie make me laugh just thinking about them. One of those scenes is when Van is in remorse over his loss of Gwen. A freshman girl walks in asking how he's doing, and he bursts into "I'm all out of love...I'm so lost without you..." and strums a very poor chord on his guitar. It was great and totally unexpected. I love that scene! The writers out did themselves on the script. This is a smart comedy that cleverly weaves the characters and story together. I've seen other comedies that were complete paradies of other movies with no plot but scene after scene of horrible gags and imitations of other movies. Apparently there is a market out there in copy-cat world that is alive and kicking. Since the movie is set in the tradition of National Lampoon, Ryan Reynolds combines some character traits of Chevy Chase, Jim Carrey and Bill Murray to complete his Van Wilder persona, but he still maintains that lovable charm. He is treated as a celebrity in his school, but eveyone loves him because he sincerely cares for them and knows how to have a "pimpin' good time" doing it. This is not a typical "teen underdog becomes popular and gets revenge on his school bullies" story. If you dig deep the real conflict of the story is with Van Wilder himself and his reluctance to graduate and move on into the real world. But that's neither here nor there -- it's more fun to think about him as the Party Liaison or the Raddest ...Dude Alive. Kal Penn holds his own as Van Wilder's assistant Taj. He just adds that much more to the comedy and practically stole the show. Tara Reid porbably did her best role as Gwen in this movie. That's about it. Great movie with lots of laughs. Gotta see it."
Greatest movie of our generation.
Matthew Edmundson | 09/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All right, maybe not, but a top-notch movie nonetheless. I watch this movie with my fraternity brothers on a daily basis. Any male between the ages of 16 and 24 must own this movie.The interview with Taj is the funniest scene in any movie in decades.Write that down."
Great College Frat Humor
Matthew Edmundson | Winter Haven, Florida United States | 08/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Van Wilder is the kind of movie you either love or hate. It's definetly a movie thats geared toward older teenage and 20's men. Its that dirty disgusting gross out humor, so if you don't like that kind of stuff get off this page.
Van Wilder(Reynolds) has been in college for 7 years. He's loved his years at Coolidge and the students love him. Wilder is so popular he has a personal assistant Taj(Penn) an Indian exchange student that Wilders promises to get some action. Thats all Wilder really does. He doesn't go to classes, but parties. It's at one of these parties where his dad finds him at tells him he's cutting his money supply.
With no money Wilder can't pay his tutition. So he starts throwing parties for cash to stay in school. In the meantime Gwen(Reid) has been given the assignment to write a paper on Van. Gwen wants nothing to do with Van and thinks he a loser. She has to do the story and quickly finds herself falling for him. She wants him to graduate and he's not so sure on it. He likes Gwen but he's not sure if he can change for her.
I love Ryan Reynolds. This guy is one of the funniest underrated guys in Hollywood. His comedic timing is awesome and he's so sarcastic. He pulls it off like very few can. This guy is going to be huge one day.
This is also Tara Reid's best movie. She is so hot in it. She has good chemistry with Reynolds, and it's not the typcial character we always see her playing. It's really ironic to see her play this kind of character to who she is as a person.
This movie is labeled as Animal House but it isn't. It's not as good as Old School either. It is however a very funny movie. It's a fun gross out comedey. If you like those kind of movies, then pick this one up. If you don't, like I said earlier why are you here."