Directed by Todd Phillips starring Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Ellen Pompeo and Jeremy Piven.

Love hurts - especially when like Mitch (Wilson) you get home early from a business trip to find your girlfriend in bed and two naked, blindfolded strangers emerging from the bathroom, determined that you should get in on the fun too. Sad and single, you look to married friends Beanie and Frank (Vaughn and Ferrell) for support, only to find they're at a particular sensitive time in their relationships. But it's not about the pressure of being a dad or a newlywed, it's their desire to roll back the years and get wild again. So they install you in a house beside a college campus, set you up as a fraternity chief called 'The Godfather', rope in as many young and old misfits as they can find, double that amount with girls and decide every night should be a party.

The title pays homage to every comedy you saw on video before you were old enough to rent them and Old School's best gags live up to the likes of 'Animal House', 'Porkys' and 'Revenge of the Nerds'. Phillips' first movie 'Road Trip' was also chock full of college craziness but here he has great fun with characters who have waved goodbye to their younger days but still insist on trying to get them back in the most warped ways possible.

The man pulling all the strings is Vaughn's Beanie. He's a successful businessman who asks the question, "do you think I like hanging around 19-year-old girls all day?" with the weariness of someone who thinks they've changed one too many nappies or suffered their life's worth of icy stares across the kitchen table. He convinces Wilson's straight man Mitch that nothing exceeds like excess and in the role creates a character destined to be quoted with the same guffaw idolatry as his Trent in 'Swingers' and Ricky in'Made'. Running him close second however, is Ferrell who as manboy Frank 'The Tank' suffers the film's greatest indignities - and funniest scene - but always manages to come back for more.

Aside from the disappointment of the film only being 90 minutes when it should be three hours, Phillips' injection of a grown-up subplot about relationships slows up the pace a little. The dilemma of Mitch trying to hook up with his dream date from back in high school and Frank's efforts to get his wife back have some decent laughs but would be better off in a different, more sophisticated movie - and one with more of a conscience than this one.

You won't dwell on any adult message for long, though - you'll be too busy trying to wipe your eyes as the image of Frank's encounter with a tranquilliser gun at a children's party refuses to go away.

More than halfway to being one of the best moron comedies in years. Dads should find an excuse for a solo shopping run as soon as possible.

Harry Guerin