Old School Review

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After his girlfriend cheats on him, disillusioned lawyer Mitch moves into a house on the edge of a university campus, where he starts up a fraternity for the disenfranchised.


Comedies set in frat houses - those sinister, sub-Masonic American university organisations which place an emphasis on infantile and frankly dangerous behaviour - have rarely travelled well to these stuffy, reserved shores.

Old School tries to bridge that gap, but quickly stutters after an interesting first half in which Phillips juggles funny set-pieces (the penises-tied-to-cinderblocks scene is a screamer) and an interesting if superficial look at male attitudes to the ageing process.

All this is soon left by the wayside, along with a flurry of underdeveloped and neglected sub-plots and ideas. The sure comic touches of Vaughn (sleazy, caustic yet strangely loveable) and Ferrell (barmy, mostly naked yet strangely loveable) somewhat redeem proceedings, but throughout you can't help but wish the inspired Owen Wilson, and not the dependable but bland Luke, had been the star.

It wants to be National Lampoon's Animal House, but ends up more like National Lampoon's Class Reunion. But this is still a harmless and intermittently funny 90 minutes.