Worth A Look: 5.66%
Pretty Bad: 8.49%
Total Crap: 28.3%
4 reviews, 82 user ratings
|National Lampoon's Van Wilder
by Erik Childress
I’ve had it. I’ve used up all my energy reviewing garbage like Van Wilder. The label of National Lampoon over a film hasn’t meant anything since the days of Animal House and Chevy Chase’s Vacation movies. Even Vegas Vacation was wise enough to distance itself from the humorists responsible for such comedy landmarks as Loaded Weapon 1, Senior Trip and Golf Punks. I’m not going to write a review of this one, since any adjectives or potshots I make might be considered plagiarism from my take on the equally abhorrable Sorority Boys just two weeks ago. Instead, through some of my inside contacts, I’ve managed to track down a transcript of the pitch meeting that spawned this latest film equivalent of Castor Oil.The following is a conversation between Hollywood’s Sidney Van Bergman and James Wilder in a time and place where time and place know no boundaries.
"I Give Up. Let the Filmmakers Explain."
Sidney: Have you seen these grosses?
James: On Snow Dogs? I’m shocked too.
Sidney: No. These teen movies. They’re hot again.
James: You mean the Freddie Prinze Jr. movies? Those numbers have gone down with every flick.
Sidney: Just wait until Scooby Doo comes out. Warner Bros. is giving him the appearance of bankability again.
James: And we were so close to being rid of him.
Sidney: Oh screw him. The public was on to him as a no-talent hacksucker. We need a fresh face.
James: For what?
Sidney: For our movie. The one that’s going to restore honor and integrity back to the name National Lampoon.
James: Was National Lampoon really about honor and integrity?
Sidney: Never mind. We need some young stud out there. Someone on the verge of stardom whose career we can really screw with just one movie.
James: What’s the movie gonna be about?
Sidney: Well, what’s the most recognized National Lampoon movie?
James: Easy. Animal House.
Sidney: Exactly. It’s almost the 25th anniversary.
James: A remake?
Sidney: No. Studios have been trying to do that for years with cheap knockoffs.
James: A sequel?
Sidney: No. The flack from the fans would be too great. You see that video release of Slap Shot 2?
James: Is that the one with Dirk Diggler?
Sidney: Never mind. What we need to do is set this movie in college.
James: We going for an “R” rating?
Sidney: Of course. College is “R”. High school is “PG-13”. Gross-out means grosses.
James: But isn’t everyone just trying to out-gross everyone else since “There’s Something About Mary?”
Sidney: Don’t get self-righteous with me. Of course they are. We’re making commerce, not art.
James: That’s not what I meant…
Sidney: We make enough to cover the miniscule salaries of the no-talent…I mean, no-name cast and the rest is ours for drugs and hookers.
James: Are we putting Charlie Sheen in this?
Sidney: Who are you, Bruce Vilanch? Besides he’s gone all respectable and shit with that TV show after Marty McFly got the shakes.
James: So who’s starring in this movie?
Sidney: I was watching this movie on cable last night about Watergate.
James: All the President’s Men?
Sidney: No, no, no, there were hot chicks in this thing. Kirsten Dunst, I think and that Michelle Williams chick from the Creek. God, what was it called? Oh oh oh…..DICK!
James: THAT’S the one with Dirk Diggler.
Sidney: I remember this scene where this guy was making out with Kirsten Dunst, mainly because I so wanted to be him, and he said he had something stuck in his ass, which I thought was HA-larious. Ryan Reynolds I think was his name.
James: Sounds like a superhero name.
Sidney: Now we need a broad. Who’s hot right now?
James: I’m sure Shannon Elizabeth is available.
Sidney: Forget it. Got a no-nudity clause now. Go figure. Broad gets fucked by a snowman, gets a tit job, shows ‘em off, gets a three-picture deal and THEN says she’s keeping her clothes on. Sounds like my fourth marriage.
James: How about Mamie Van Doren? You hear about this scene she has in Slackers?
Sidney: We’ll get to old broads in a minute. How about that other chick from American Pie? The blonde one.
James: The one that looks like an alien?
Sidney: No, not Mena Suvari. The other one. Tara Reid.
James: Yeah, that’s who I meant.
Sidney: You think she looks like an alien?
James: In a Whitley Streiber kinda way with blonde hair, sure.
Sidney: She’s pretty smart too I hear.
James: Well, maybe next to Carson Daly.
Sidney: So we got a male and female lead. Now we need a plot. Quick, what’s your favorite line from Animal House?
James: Hmmm. Seven years of college down the drain.
Sidney: Good. Mine is ‘Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.’ Now let’s write a script.
James: OK. There’s this guy. He’s like the Ferris Bueller on campus and he’s been there for seven years.
Sidney: That’s good. More.
James: But here’s the twist. He’s actually pretty smart and just doesn’t want to graduate and accept responsibility for his life.
Sidney: That’s not much of a twist and you’re kind of crapping all over my quote. Is he at least fat and drunk?
James: Fat people only work well in wacky supporting roles unless you’re Belushi, Candy or Farley. But they’re all dead.
Sidney: Don’t you ever say that. They’re just unavailable.
James: Wasn’t that in another movie?
Sidney: Be serious James. I make movies for profit. There isn’t an original thought in my head. So tell me what this thin sober intellectual does.
James: Well his father cuts him off, see.
Sidney: Why does it take him seven years?
James: Does it matter? Point is he does it and this kid needs money so he becomes a party organizer on campus.
Sidney: Not bad. What about the broad?
James: Well she’s this uptight reporter for the school newspaper assigned to get a story on him.
Sidney: Why would anyone do a story on this guy?
James: Does it matter? Point is there’s our relationship. He thinks she’s hot. She doesn’t like him.
Sidney: We can’t write that for 90 pages. We need more conflict.
James: She’s the girlfriend of the leader of the rival fraternity.
Sidney: Ah, very Greg Marmalade. If only we could give the jackass frat a wacky name. Those clever bastards of Sorority Boys already came up with the K.O.K. and D.O.G.
James: What about Delta Iota Kappa?
Sidney: What does that mean?
James: Delta. Iota. Kappa. D.I.K.
Sidney: Wow. An educated man you are. I didn’t think you knew one I-ota about Greek letters. (hearty laugh)
James: It seems you are the educated man sir. Educated in COM-A-DY! Hahahaha
Sidney: I know, I kill me. OOOOH!!! You know what this movie is missing? Baked goods.
James: Why stop there? How about some semen?
Sidney: Why not both together?
James: But how can we make it fresh?
Sidney: The baked goods?
James: No, the semen.
Sidney: Hmmm. Humans have been ejaculating all over celluloid since Ben Stiller’s shot heard round the world.
James: I GOT IT! How about a dog?
Sidney: Not until the party tonight.
James: No Sid. A dog. A dog with humongous balls.
Sidney: What does Bea Arthur have to do with any of this?
James: No, in the movie. A dog. Big balls. Lots of the sticky. Red rocket. Baked goods.
Sidney: You’re a sick man James but I love ya. Genius!
James: You think we could get some old school recognizable faces with past teen flicks to be in this?
Sidney: Who’d you have in mind?
James: Well, Sorority Boys got Marmalade, Niedermeyer, Flounder and Dean Wormer to be in their flick. What if we got Tim Matheson to play Van Wilder’s father?
Sidney: That’s inspired. That’s kinda like getting Ferris Bueller to play the vengeful teacher in Election. It’s like Otter as a dad. Make sure you give him some kinda throwaway line, so the audience can make that connection.
James: I’ll put something in about him wanting a happy ending to his massage.
Sidney: Good enough. I’ve also got numbers here for Paul Gleason and Curtis Armstrong. Dick and Booger. Sitcom idea. Write that down.
James: And my cousin is friends with them Sherminator guy who ate the pubes in that one flick.
Sidney: Bag him. And I can get Erik Estrada. Instant comedy. Don’t you know that guy who looks like a young Tom Hanks?
James: Tom Everett Scott. He won’t be in this movie.
Sidney: Offer him a part. Make him the broad’s editor or something. Tell him it’s a serious film about reporting.
James: OK. Oh, on the topic of broads, you said we’d get back to old broads.
Sidney: Oh yeah, stick one in here and make her screw somebody.
James: Do we have too?
Sidney: Yes, it’s a law in these movies. Did you see Kingpin?
James: Yeah, but that was a good movie.
Sidney: Old broad screwing. Put it in.
James: Can we at least have some hot female nudity to balance it out?
Sidney: You would be fired if there wasn’t. I want bra, panties, legs and tits. But throw in some male ass for the gays.
James: You mean for the women, sir?
Sidney: Whatever. Whom haven’t we offended for no good reason yet?
Sidney: No. Takes a lot to offend white people. And black people seem to have no sense of humor.
James: I don’t know about that sir. Did you see Halle Berry at the Oscars?
Sidney: Yeah, that was a pretty good joke. Oh screw it, throw an indian in there.
James: Do you want him to own a casino and smoke peyote while donning the full feather gear?
Sidney: No. Just make him sex hungry.
James: This is truly going to restore National Lampoon back to its former glory.
Sidney: You’re damn right it is! The final eighteen-and-a-half minutes of the tape were silent (or perhaps erased), but its easy to see the kind of film Van Wilder turned out to be. In summation, I’ll note that Tara Reid said in a recent interview that what attracted her to the role of Gwen, the college journalist, was that she wanted to see “what it was like on the other side.” She went on to explain that her character initially wrote a sellable piece that wasn’t very fair, and then "went back and wrote something else, which is something you never really see journalists do too much. Some of the things people write about me are so not right, or so off, and I think 'God, wouldn't it be nice if someone, one day, went back and opened their eyes,'" This statement was funnier than anything in the movie as Reid’s cigarette-enduced Kathleen Turner voicebox is the only definable trait of her character, who after hearing her final article, I think you’ll agree must have gone to the Harry Knowles school of illiterate journalism. (Final Note: Dr. Joyce Brothers is listed in the final credits. Perhaps she wins the “Where’s Waldo?” award of the year since I did not see her anywhere in the movie. Someone help! Did I blink?)
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5799&reviewer=198
originally posted: 04/05/02 07:21:39
| For more in the National Lampoon Movies series, click here.