National Lampoon's Van Wilder

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
National Lampoon's Van Wilder Movie Poster Image
The grossest, most disgusting humor imaginable.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Violence
Sex

Extremely explicit sexual references and situations.

Language

Extremely strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and drug use portrayed as harmless fun for those over 18.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has the grossest and most disgusting humor imaginable, involving every possible bodily function. There are extended jokes about the size of a dog's testicles. Characters drink to excess. Van's beneficence includes getting compliant girls for boys who would otherwise not have anyone to have sex with.

Wondering if National Lampoon's Van Wilder is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bypatreviewsthemovies March 7, 2020

story of a college hero - must see for anyone about to attend or attending college

Dont listen to the other prudes on this comment string, this movie was amazing. I'll admit its definitely not for ages 16 and under, but the jokes are hila... Continue reading
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byjacob0929 April 2, 2009
inappropriate but hilarious
Teen, 13 years old Written bySanjay407 November 25, 2011

Read

Rated R: Strong Graphic Sexuality, Strong Language, and Strong Drug Use
Kid, 10 years old March 5, 2009

I laughed and yelled at the language and sex stuff so my little siblings cant hear it

FUNNY. I laughed but had to yell at the bad parts so my siblings couldnt hear it. I like this movie but I like vacation, check my rivew for that too.

What's the story?

In NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER, college slacker Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds), the big man on campus for seven years. His father (Tim Matheson) pulls the financial plug, and Van has to find a way to pay his tuition so that he can stay on for more of what he loves about college – parties. So, like any enterprising young man, he starts up a business: Topless Tutors. It is wildly successful until the strip club owner decides he wants his dancers back. Van finally finds his true calling in life – he's a party planner with a specialty in debauchery, sort of Martha Stewart crossed with Hugh Hefner. Meanwhile, intrepid campus reporter Gwen (Tara Reid) decides to write about Van. Despite the fact that she has a pre-med frat-president boyfriend, she finds herself drawn to him. And despite the fact that Van has spent seven years being benevolent but distant, he finds himself being drawn to her.

Is it any good?

It would take more time to list all of the things that were awful about this odious movie that it would be to watch it again. Around the slight plot are many gross attempts at humor involving bodily functions and excretions, both human and animal. They include a prank involving ingestion of dog semen inside éclair filling, getting children drunk (and having them barf), and feeding an extremely powerful laxative to someone just before an exam with no bathroom breaks. It is also supposed to be funny that Van is forced to have sex with an elderly woman who wears a wig. Are you laughing yet?

There is a half-hearted attempt to portray Van as all right at heart because he fundraises and befriends outcasts. There are cameos by classic teen comedies like Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, and others, but all this does is remind us of how much better those movies were. The script is unforgivably sloppy, with dialogue that sounds like people who don't know very much English made it up on the spot.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes some raunchy comedies better than others. Do things like clever dialog and interesting characters matter to you in a comedy?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate