National Lampoon's Van Wilder Movie Poster Image

National Lampoon's Van Wilder



The grossest, most disgusting humor imaginable.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

What parents need to know

Not applicable

Extremely explicit sexual references and situations.


Extremely strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:April 5, 2002
DVD/Streaming release date:August 20, 2002
Cast:Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Tim Matheson
Director:Walt Becker
Studio:Artisan Entertainment
Run time:93 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:very explict sexual humor and language

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Adult Written byBGWil369 April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byDman April 9, 2008
Adult Written byCastellanos July 16, 2009

Van Wilder is less funny than the average R-rated comedy

People looking for a funny, R-rated, raunchy comedy should be at the end of their ropes before watching Van Wilder. Van Wilder relies more on gross-out pranks and sexual situations, then on funny dialogue. Therefore, mostly teens will find this humor funny, while adults are likely to sigh, thinking "what disgusting act will come next?" Parents should know that this movie has tons and tons of references to sex acts, bodily functions, and body parts. The movie opens with a scene of what the audience thinks is oral sex (what we later find out is that it's a woman fixing a mans pants, while sucking on a lollipop.) A man describes with graphic detail about how he came to America to have all kinds of sex. A man is tricked by an elderly woman into having sex with her. There are 2 scenes of sex, and many bare breasts and a bare butt. One person almost has sex, but gets his back lit on fire and falls out of a window (the person is fine and it's all comical). A group of people masturbate a dog with very big testicles, and then a different group of people unknowingly eat twinkies filled with the dogs semen. There is are a couple of f**ks, s**ts, and many slang terms for sex acts and body parts. There is also use of marijuana through a bong and a group of 8 year olds, who drink till they throw-up. This movie reminded me of Animal House, so people who enjoyed that might have fun with Van Wilder. However it is likely, that many will just be bored by Van Wilder.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking