"One of Affleck's early-career potholes. One of several, actually."
It's tough to imagine which reemergence Ben Affleck despises most: that of this movie, or that of the haircut he sports for 100 straight minutes. Looking a lot like the world's smuggest rooster, Affleck preens and meanders through "Glory Daze", without the slightest inkling that he's about to become a mega-huge superstar.Now...few modern actors get bashed like Ben Affleck does, and I for one think it kind of stinks. Sure, he may not be Olivier but I'd warrant that the guy's a damn fine actor and one who possesses an all-too-rare tone of humorous self-deprecation. Anyone who thinks ill of Affleck should spin a few of the audio commentaries he's done with Kevin Smith and then decide if he sounds like a pompous ass.
Anyway, Glory Daze is yet another of those "post-college angst ridden party boys get semtimental about moving on" kinda things, one that's notable solely because of its eclectic cast and very little else. Writer/director Rich Wilkes clearly loves his old college buddies quite a lot, but his characters repeatedly spout tired rhetoric, confusedly quote philosophers, and offer up some truly unsavory nuggets of misogyny.
If these guys weren't played by likeable and familiar faces, Glory Daze would be an interminable chore. Fortunately we're offered a youthful and colorful Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) as the One Saddled With a Girlfriend. Irksome goofball French Stewart (Inspector Gadget 2) plays the Very Old College Man who Never Graduates. Ben is the Pining Sensitive Guy, and if you keep your eyes peeled you'll notice charmless cameos from Matt Damon, Brendan Fraser and Matthew McConaughey. Jonathan Rhys-Davies humiliates himself in the garish role of Lecherous Homosexual Professor while the sprite-like Alyssa Milano and sexy blonde Mega Ward fill in the background as the clearly underappreciated "females".
Don't let the opportunistic DVD case fool you; this one was made long before Affleck and his pals hit it big.That doesn't automatically make Glory Daze a bad movie. The screenplay covers that territory quite capably.