I saw the commercial for College and the 18-year old inside of me perked right up. Rampant underage binge drinking and young perky breasts bouncing about swam through my head like sugar-fairies. Yet when I finally sat down to watch it, I noticed Drake Bell from Nickelodeon’s kid show Drake & Josh was first-billed. Following this major revelation, I knew I was in for a let down and depression set in immediately.
It set in further when the rest of the cast was introduced as a part of Kevin Brewer’s (Bell) circle of friends. Filling it out (literally) was some vulgar, fat kid named Carter Scott (Andrew Caldwell) and a complete dork named Morris Hooper (Kevin Covais). Had I just found myself watching a piss-poor representation of Superbad? Besides the obvious similarities in friends and the fact they’re all high-schoolers, I found I wasn’t, but in the end I think I would have preferred if I had.
I found the story penned by Dan Callahan and Adam Ellison rather sad and offsetting as opposed to being the mindless comic romp that it was supposed to be. Finding themselves staying over at a fraternity during their freshman orientation weekend at Fieldmont University, Kevin, Carter and Morris are hazed and picked on repeatedly by the frat brothers. Is there humor in watching someone you’re supposed to be rooting for get forced to drink a shot out of a guys ass-crack or get stripped down, taped up and thrown into a sty of pigs so they can roll around in pig shit and get trampled upon? These scenes didn’t galvanize me to their cause; instead I found myself rooting against them. Where were their balls or pride? Everyone has a point when they just say “Fuck it”, put their back up against a wall and start swinging at the closest antagonizer. When these guys eventually get to their breaking point, the movie is basically over, I’ve already written them off as pussies and their revenge, well let’s just say their revenge is about as candy-assed as it comes.
As for the rest of College, sure it follows the path of most movies of this genre by brazenly exploiting and fantasticalizing (is that a word?) teen sex, teen alcoholism and open stupidity but not nearly enough to set itself apart from the pack. A few scenes here and there of some boobage, and some basic alcohol-fueled debauchery. Nothing more. Hell, they even miss using Penthouse Pets Valentina Vaughn and Heather Vandeven properly — whoever heard of Pets not getting naked? Someone forgot to tell director Deb Hagan their dirty little secret — put a line or two in front of them and they’ll shake their ass all night long (of course I’m just assuming these particular ladies party this way, since the Pets I met in the past were fun like that).
There are easily at least 100 other high-school/university party flicks that have either better underlying stories, better characters to rally behind, better gratuitous nudity or are just plain funnier. You can start your search of these films by running through our lists of the Top 10 College Comedies and the Top 10 High School Comedies. Email me when you’ve exhausted these 20 and think you are ready for more.