Schoolhouse Rot


A flatland of lowest-common-denominated retro-collegiate wackiness, Old School is interesting only to the degree that this sort of ostensible horndog fantasia always translates into plain old castration anxiety: cement blocks tied to the male apparatus and flung off parapets, a wives’-club fellatio seminar employing crudités. The setup, by which I mean the first five minutes, is amusing enough, as the three amigos land squarely in their midlife crises: Straight-arrow Luke Wilson discovers girlfriend Juliette Lewis entertaining some scary swingers; reconstructed sybarite Will Ferrell ties the knot; and baby-burdened Vince Vaughn sputters with impotent cynicism. Their entry into quasi-Greek life occasions hazing rituals and arbitrary plot turns. Wilson nice-guys himself into cipherdom, and the ursine Ferrell proves lethal in this mega-dosage: Not only do we see more of him, we see more of him, thanks to periodic disrobings nearly as traumatic as Kathy Bates’s About Schmidt dip. Perhaps the wisest of the bunch, Vaughn simply drops out of the picture—if only he’d taken us with him.

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