Today! Because the Godfather himself has decided to grace us with his presence. This is his damn house, he sleeps twenty feet away –
Old School (2003)
Directed by Todd Phillips (x2)
Starring Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Jeremy Piven, Leah Remini, Seann William Scott (x4), Ellen Pompeo, Juliette Lewis (x2), Craig Kilborn, Perrey Reeves, Elisha Cuthbert, Artie Lange, Matt Walsh (x4), Sara Tanaka, Sarah Shahi, Bryan Callen, Patrick Cranshaw, Jerod Mixon (x2), Simon Helberg (x3), Eddie Pepitone, Rob Corddry (x2), Andy Dick (x2), Terry O’Quinn (x2), Snoop Dogg, Warren G
Okay, so I was out of college at this point – well, between college would be a better way of framing it – but I was hardly the stable, mature grown-up my Twitter account would currently indicate I’ve evolved into. But I was also never particularly one for big raging parties – it’s pretty hard to throw epic, Animal House style shindigs when you live at home and commute to college – so my continued affinity of these sort of movies probably stems from a vicariously longing for lost times. I mean, I still hung out and drank my face off periodically, but I didn’t feel like I really had the true college experience, pretty much ever.
And so Old School is the living, breathing manifestation of exactly this mindset. Sure, it’s a nonsense, middle-aged fantasy, and I was in my early-to-mid twenties when it was released, but time already felt escaped to me, to a certain degree, and plus, it’s got a pretty hilarious collection of comedians and pretty juvenile goings on, which was right in my ’03 wheelhouse. Will Ferrell fully arrived as a lead movie star in ’03, between this and Elf, after his SNL years, Mugatu, Mustafa, and Marshal Willenholly, terrific as reformed party animal/backsliding frat boy Frank the Tank. He joins up with Vince Vaughn’s disgruntled Beanie and Luke Wilson’s newly-single Mitch to form their all-accepting rejects fraternity. Great turns abound in quick cameo roles, from Seann William Scott, Rob Corddry, Matt Walsh, and especially Craig Kilborn’s smarmy douchebag Mark. Still one of my all-time favorite talk show hosts! Jon Stewart’s Daily Show was clearly superior overall, but I would argue Kilborn was still the better host, not to mention his terrific years on The Late Late Show.
Obviously, the years have changed my perspective on the whole never-living-at-college thing. Sure, it probably would’ve been fun, but didn’t I come out of it all the better for commuting? Isn’t a successful academic run what the whole college experience should be evaluated from anyway? Plus, I didn’t go to any large colleges or universities – how much different would it really have been? I mean, seriously, how much different? Isn’t that worth exploring? Wouldn’t you like to fund that sort of exploratory endeavor? Please contribute to my Kickstarter so that I can acquire falsified documents and enroll at some giant midwestern college, all for the meaningful study of this other college life. Someone has to compile this information – why not this guy?
Phillips’ second list comedy after #348 Road Trip makes him the 28th Two-Timer director, leading a heady group of actors into their second list appearances as well – Lewis (#360 Cape Fear), O’Quinn (#306 Tombstone), Dick (Road Trip), Mixon (#286 Me, Myself, and Irene), and Corddry (#290 Cedar Rapids). Simon Helberg joins the Three-Timers (#367 A Serious Man, #372 Walk Hard), while frequent co-stars Seann William Scott (#231 American Pie, #322 Role Models, Road Trip) and Matt Walsh (#377 I Love You, Man, Role Models, Road Trip) advance to the Fours! Fun fact – Scott and Walsh are only credited together in four films, the three listed above and Movie 43, one of the worst movies ever made. I was at the theater watching this movie in 2013 when my then apartment building had a massive fire that gutted a large part of the seventh floor, so upset were the film gods that I’d spent my money watching that bullshit in a theater. True story!