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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 5.61%
Average: 18.69%
Pretty Bad: 8.41%
Total Crap: 28.97%

4 reviews, 83 user ratings

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National Lampoon's Van Wilder
[] Buy posters from this movie
by John Smith

"Little Boy Lost (Has Great Tan)"
3 stars

Itís unfair to criticise a film for failing to be something that it never intended to be, and stupid too. After all, if you go into a film with the tagline "Donít graduate. Celebrate!" expecting it to be something like The Piano, well, thereís something wrong with you.

Having said that, the first half hour of Van Wilder is absolutely the worst thirty minutes of cinema I have ever seen. Execrable, and definitely not "so bad its good".

Celebrated turkeys like Showgirls and Purple Rain are actually wonderful experiences ó gingerly released by their cautious promoters, and not meant to be as funny as they aref, theyíre so colourful and earnest that you canít take your eyes off them.

But the opening scenes of this film are so woeful that you canít believe they got out of the cutting room alive. Lame jokes are labouringly set up, and when the punch line comes, the silence in the cinema is deafening. You find yourself embarrassed for the actors, young hopefuls who thought they were onto a big break, and angry at the filmmakers ó who the hell makes this kind of garbage and then presents it as a potential commercial hit? Broad humour comedies are usually quite watchable, and sometimes extremely funny, like Flying High or American Pie. Cheap jokes, toilet humour, ham acting ó its all really dumb, but its also really funny. But the first chunk of Van Wilder isnít funny at all ó itís just plain awful.

Weíre repeatedly shown how popular Van is ó the entire campus body hysterically adores him, and the O-Week line up to join his social club stretches for miles. Vanís reputation is legendary, fantastic. Really though, if you saw some clot driving around campus in a customised golf cart yelling invites to parties through a megaphone, as Val does, would you run off after him? Swinging a baseball bat, maybe. The guyís a drip, and his fellow students, running around loving everything he does, look like the brain dead members of some malformed cult.

When Gwen, a beautiful, intelligent and busty journalism student is assigned to do a probing, front-page expose on Vanís great parties, the romantic plotline begins in earnest. Prudent Gwen canít stand good time Val at first, but warms to him after they play a few hours of one-on-one ice hockey. Gwenís boyfriend Dick (thatís right, Dick) is the president of the Student Union, and an ace Medicine Senior, but heís a jerk, and doesnít treat her well. The stage is set for some wacky love triangle high jinks when Dick catches Gwen coming out of one of Valís awesome roller disco parties.
At this point, youíll probably want to run from the theatre, screaming as you go, but donít, because strangely, it gets better. Maybe someone else took over the production, I donít know, but all of a sudden this hopeless movie becomes a pretty good light comedy with heart, about a rich lost boy who breaks his back to stay at college because he doesnít know where else to go. Though he worships his corporate king father, he doesnít feel appreciated by him. Even if Van doesnít realise it, heís deliberately underachieving to spite his Dad. Despite this conflict, though, he never stops smiling, and thrives on his popularity because he feels a real need to make others happy. Itís all quite bubbly and touching, kind of like American Beauty if it had been written and directed by Tori Spelling.

The second half of the film has real tenderness, and even some canny, memorable lines. "Itís not our first date, Van, it's an interview," Gwen reminds Van, to which he replies, "Gwen, first dates are interviews." Well, I mean, arenít they?

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/09/02 14:05:48
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User Comments

12/05/17 morris campbell a tscky snooze 1 stars
1/01/14 Rick Tara Reid is soooo hot!!! 5 stars
2/05/13 matthew thompson dalldorf Yawn! Watch 'Animal House' instead. 2 stars
7/10/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess No frat-related comedy is going to beat 'Animal House' 3 stars
7/14/08 Dave Epic awesomness 5 stars
3/29/08 Ha NL sucks ass. Only an idiot would like their crap these days. 1 stars
4/01/06 matt Hilarious underrated gem 5 stars
1/18/06 cody I like movie it one my favorites comedies ever! tara reid go go baby go! 4 stars
8/30/05 ES Critics why? Such an entertaining movie, so many hijinks and fun to be had 5 stars
4/04/05 ye the funny film people hardly ever talk about 5 stars
1/09/05 Feliciano ryan reynolds is hilarious!!! 5 stars
12/10/04 Jason Kaul WOW, this review is scathing. Very funny, and gross. They weren't trying to be Spielburg. 5 stars
11/14/04 BornWilder I think Van Wilder is one of the best 'teen - movies' of our generation. 5 stars
11/06/04 Me The "Exploding scene" was hilarious! 5 stars
9/09/04 J Sickening and funnier than Old School 5 stars
6/07/04 Moriah This movie is the best comedy ever. . . EVER!!! seriously go see it! so funny!! 5 stars
4/09/04 Alex Hilarious - Reynolds is a star 5 stars
3/21/04 Kayla NICE NICE NICE NICE MOVIE!!! very funny and Ryan Reynolds is so damn hott..Omg watch it!!!! 5 stars
1/02/04 Bebe Funny!! 5 stars
9/02/03 Dawn Would rather suffer through one of the stupid stunt in this film than watched it again. 1 stars
9/01/03 k Kal Penn is awesome 5 stars
9/01/03 hando garbage of the 1st order,the "cream" eating scene being the only saving grace! 1 stars
8/14/03 Chuck Great movie about what college could have been 5 stars
6/26/03 cochese Animal House its not. 2 stars
5/26/03 Dan_A It was bad. A few decent laughs. But nothing I haven't seen before 2 stars
4/18/03 Jack Sommersby Pretty decent until it tries to be so. 2 stars
4/01/03 Jenna Furr Too bad: since the Am. Pie flix, Tara Reid's become wholly convinced her shit don't stink. 2 stars
3/20/03 bam great 5 stars
3/15/03 The spam handler I'll never eat Twinkies again, but the rest of it was ok 3 stars
2/17/03 Joe Why Do They Insist On Beating A Dead Horse With More And More bad Sequels 1 stars
2/09/03 abc critics might hate it, but come on, it's fun ! 5 stars
12/31/02 Hawlie Perry This Movie fucking rocks! Van is S0 hawt and funny! *I Want to air dry,Air dry that shit ya 5 stars
11/21/02 DAvid THOMPSON Fucking awesome flic van wilder funny man of the centurary 5 stars
10/27/02 Matt Neopalitano The "garbage can toilet" scene was a classic. It's only missing Rodney Dangerfield. 4 stars
10/21/02 Importfighta great, funny and halarious "it's not a bong it's for my slong" ha ha ha 5 stars
10/15/02 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid were great. Some bits are funny. 3 stars
10/12/02 Petee Ryan Reynolds was fantastic. Nice ass! 5 stars
10/07/02 Incubassist Thouroughly charming, some substance, Reynolds should go far 3 stars
10/03/02 Shane Obviously my comment wont make a difference, you can see my rating 5 stars
10/02/02 Richard Wright The cycle of gross out comedies reaches a new low with this abysmal piece of excrement. 1 stars
9/21/02 Vitality1 Reid sucks, but Ryan Reynolds is all charm and hotness. Good movie! 5 stars
8/28/02 Hessian Animal House? No. But it's a damned sight better than the Vacation offerings. 3 stars
8/27/02 snowconehead could of been worse 3 stars
8/25/02 .Choadushouse. Lacks at the start...slowly grows funnier. Lots of hot naked girls. Good for dumb teenagers 3 stars
8/24/02 spyguy2 bad Bad BAD...God this SUCKED. Tara Reid in another glassy-eyed walk-thru. 1 stars
8/22/02 k Tara Reid cant act all...and the movie sucks too 2 stars
8/21/02 bob leather jacket hilarious...nostalgic feel to it 5 stars
6/05/02 Veronica Tatterworth Alas Terror Reid is becoming the new queen of anal-retentiveness! (She once showed promise) 1 stars
5/30/02 Jenny Tullwartz National Shampoon not Lampoon anymore. Makes SORORITY BOYS look like classic comedy. 1 stars
5/01/02 Jennifer Loved it 5 stars
4/30/02 Christine Mead It's the GREATEST movie ever!!! I have seen it 3 times! 5 stars
4/30/02 Chris Bennett Erik the movieman is a cock! 5 stars
4/26/02 Maryann Degala IM GAY 5 stars
4/24/02 becky it was so funny, ryan was really HOT in that movie, and these critics hate it bc it wasn 5 stars
4/23/02 Alissa Thats some funny shit! 5 stars
4/19/02 new york times reviews incredible movie it had my chest acing from all that laughing 5 stars
4/18/02 Mel OH man it was a great movie and Ryan Reynolds was fine in it! I want to see it again! 5 stars
4/16/02 Nelia It was really fun and a good movie to watch 5 stars
4/16/02 Nikki This was one of the best movies I have ever seen! It's funny and has the hottest actor! 5 stars
4/15/02 Dom Corleone Not that great 2 stars
4/14/02 Patrick This was a hilarious flick. It is a shame most lame reviewers live a sorry life. 5 stars
4/09/02 caroline pike loved it, ryan is hot! 4 stars
4/09/02 vampyre9mm were you all expecting Gone with the Wind? made me laugh, that's all that counts 4 stars
4/08/02 Nick2k definately better than 'pearl harbor' 3 stars
4/08/02 hey just terrible, the jokes were retarded 1 stars
4/07/02 steve will not see it ever!can you guess what will be spuffed on scarymovie 4 1 stars
4/06/02 Hatemonger It might have been funny of Ryan Renolds wasn't so obviously a closet homosexual. 1 stars
4/05/02 Klute Lazy, unfunny, wouldn't have made good TV. 2 stars
4/04/02 Lee Pietersen This movie sucks cock 5 stars
4/03/02 Monty Hilarious. Soundtrack rocks. 5 stars
4/03/02 High Horse There's a BOMB in my rib cage! 1 stars
4/01/02 Tom Get off your high horses, it's just a comedy. 4 stars
3/30/02 Why????? Sucks 1 stars
3/27/02 Daniel mostly same old same old 2 stars
3/26/02 Angela Chase What a complete waste of time!!!! 1 stars
3/25/02 Fartboy Hollywood Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome...NOT! 1 stars
3/24/02 Kevin Don't be fooled by the first 20 or so minutes. This movie is really funny shit. 4 stars
3/18/02 Tanner King Absolutely hilarious!! 5 stars
3/14/02 Man1 Sucks the big ass! 1 stars
3/14/02 Moviman Sucks Ass 1 stars
3/11/02 boodoo king a koko a moko a 5rokoo the foko 5 stars
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  05-Apr-2002 (R)
  DVD: 20-Aug-2002



Directed by
  Walt Becker

Written by
  Brent Goldberg
  David Wagner

  Ryan Reynolds
  Tara Reid
  Kal Penn
  Tim Matheson
  Kim Smith
  Daniel Cosgrove

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