The notorious National Lampoon series has given us some good films, some bad ones and certainly some classics. To add to their list of hits like Animal House and the Grizzwald Vacation movies-or misses as some would say-comes Van Wilder.The movie pleads its case quite successfully in the overpopulated teen-sex comedy era which we seem to be experiencing lately.
Van Wilder, played by Ryan Reynolds is a college student in his seventh year as a senior. Not wanting to face the real world, he does everything possible to stay in school. As another semester of his beloved college life begins, he learns that his father will not pay for another semester of tuition. Van does anything to stay in college and as the most popular guy on campus, he comes up with some interesting and comical ideas.
The plot thickens as Gwen Pearson (Tara Reid), a student journalist determined to expose Van, catches his eye. As Gwen tries to get her story, she realizes that Van is indeed a wild man, but he has a heart larger than his wild side. In comes Gwen's jealous boyfriend, Richard (Daniel Cosgrove), who almost puts an end to Van's kingly status at Coolidge College. A National Lampoon movie would not be complete without strong sexual content, language and, of course, gross humour. National Lampoon's Van Wilder does not disappoint in any of these areas. Topless tutors and a sequence involving Van's pet bulldog are just a few of the film's highlights. On a more serious note, the film has heart. It is a coming-of-age story that, although has been done over and over again works with a great cast and comedy in all the right places.
Although he's no Chevy Chase, Ryan Reynolds is quite entertaining as the amiable Van Wilder. Van Wilder is refreshing. It makes us realize that life is too short to take too seriously and perhaps the nice guy doesn't always have to finish last. In the words of Van Wilder himself:
"If you think about the future too much, you'll forget about the present."
National Lampoon's Van Wilder opens nationwide April 5th.