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Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Tim Matheson, Tom Everett Scott, Alex Burns

Directed by: Walt Becker
Written by: Brent Goldberg, David Wagner
Produced by: Andrew Panay, Jonathon Komack Martin, Peter Abrams, Robert Levy
Distributor: Artisan Entertainment

US: 05/04/02 UK: 27/09/02

Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) is starting his seventh year at Coolidge College. Van has reached the status of living legend on campus, throwing bashes that make geeks popular, raise money for charity and generally "inspire the uninspired." Then Van's father refuses to pay any more of his son's tuition bills, so he must turn to party planning for profit in order to continue living in under-graduate bliss.

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Dave Reviews Out Loud/Ebert & Roeper
Entertainment Weekly/ Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune/ LA Times
New York Post / New York Times
USA Today / Rolling Stone

Tara Reid prays critics will be kind.
They were not.

The brainless, unfunny campus comedy lives on in this mind-numbing film that tries so desperately to be zany and rude that it's painful to watch. Van Wilder (Reynolds) is in his seventh year at an L.A. university, during which time he has become the campus king, organising parties, helping needy students, and so on. Then his dad (Matheson) decides to cut his funding, and now Van must pay his own way and face the future! Meanwhile, a student journalist (Reid) is assigned to write his story, and as she digs she starts to fall for Van, much to the shock of her frat-boy boyfriend (Cosgrove), who of course plots revenge.

Yawn! As if the premise wasn't trite enough, the film fails to deliver a single decent laugh, although it tries on every level (mostly gross-out, it must be said). The cast is OK, particularly Reid, who always adds a bit of class to these terrible films. But Reynolds plays it exactly like Jim Carrey in wise-guy mode, which is thoroughly irritating from the start. Otherwise, the characters only exist to do supposedly shock comedy gags (Indian exchange student Penn obsessed with sex, fraternity groupie Rutherford suffers multiple indignities). There isn't an inspired moment in the entire film, which is at least bright and energetic enough to keep us awake for 90 minutes. And then they have the nerve to try and pound in a meaningful message at the end. Oh please.



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