To Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds), college doesn't get you ready for life, it is life. So when his father puts a stop to his cash flow, it looks like the party might finally be over for Van.
(Ryan Reynolds) has managed to spend a decade loafing at college by deliberately failing his finals each year. When his dad wakes up and pulls his funding, Van turns to his party-organising skills and big-man-on-campus image to pay his way. Complications arise when an aspiring college-rag journo (Tara Reid--the girlfriend of the wimpy one in American Pie
) shows an interest, and Van begins to question his bachelor-boy lifestyle.
Though Van Wilder: Party Liaison contains the occasional clever line ("at least Ms Pacman swallows") and a nice self-referential appearance from Tim Matheson--the original college lothario from the archetypal (and still the best) frat-kids movie, Animal House--it's still fundamentally flawed. It's difficult, for one thing, to believe in the appalling central character's great popularity with his peers--the Fonze he ain't. It's also evident that Reynolds has watched one too many Jim Carrey performances, while Reid's role reduces her to being little more than insubstantial eye-candy. The film's makers have been so anxious to get in all the required references (pot-smoking, bodily functions and nudity) that they've forgotten to make it any good. Worse, along the way it takes cheap gratuitous pot shots at the disabled, the ugly, the old and the obese.
Though it purports to be a "party-on" parable, then, its predictably corny denouement and the conventional values it ultimately espouses reek of Republican morality. There are probably worse ways to spend an hour-and-a-half, but it would be hard to call them to mind when watching this execrable, formulaic drivel--do yourself a favour and enjoy American Pie again instead. --Paul Eisinger