Directed by Walt Becker starring Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Kal Penn and Tim Matheson
Smarter and cooler than the average schemer, so just why does Van Wilder (Reynolds) want to stay in Coolidge College forever? He's been serving as the campus Mr Fixit for seven years now, procuring everything from girls to exam papers and wasting his father's money (Matheson) in the wildest ways possible. Always one gag ahead of the authorities, Wilder is forced to become a party organiser when his father cuts off his tuition fees. But having conquered one major problem he ends up with another: a college hack (Reid) who has decided to do an article on him.
With last year's 'American Pie 2' so tame, it seems like an eternity since a comedy was willing to go for broke with bawdy gags. And while it's nowhere near 'Road Trip' or 'Kingpin', anyone who grew up watching 'Animal House' or 'Porkys' on video will get some laughs out of 'Van Wilder…'. It's raunchy, over-the-top and in Reynolds has the heir apparent to Chevy Chase's smirk. There are scenes involving in heat bulldogs, amorous grannies, pneumatic cheerleaders and apocalyptic laxatives, though it's arguable whether it any would work if the camera didn't have Reynolds to point at.
Director Becker loses the hairbrained momentum somewhat by bringing in the romance between Reynolds and Reid and showing that Van really has a heart of gold. But despite the slush factor, he still makes sure there are jokes all the way to the credits and the knowing cameos - from original 'Animal House' pupil Tim Matheson and 'The Breakfast Club's detention giver Paul Gleason - show a film that knows how to hustle in the nostalgia market.
Compare it to the recent Cameron's Diaz-starring disaster 'The Sweetest Thing' and you'll reckon it deserves an Oscar.