A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
- In theaters: April 5, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: August 20, 2002
- Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Tim Matheson
- Director: Walt Becker
- Studio: Artisan Entertainment
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: very explict sexual humor and language
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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