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Van Wilder (2002)

The most popular kid on campus meets a beautiful journalist who makes him realize that maybe he's afraid to graduate.

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, (as David T. Wagner)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Storyline

In certain circles, Van Wilder is a living legend at Coolidge College, where he's been a student now for seven years, not yet having completed his degree requirements. Despite being bright, he never attends classes anymore, instead hosting parties, imparting his brand of wisdom to his adoring fans, hosting school organization fundraisers, and rallying the college spirit among the student body. Conversely, Van loves his Coolidge life. In his antics, he has a 2ic in Hutch, and always hires a personal assistant, this year's being a South Asian transfer student named Taj, who wants to learn from the best, namely Van. Van's college life is threatened when his wealthy neglectful father only now learns that Van is still in school, Wilder Sr. who has been paying his way all this time. As such, Wilder Sr. pulls the plug on that subsidy, meaning that Van has to figure out a way to pay for his Coolidge life. Because of his living legend status, Van becomes the subject of a series of articles by ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't Graduate. Celebrate. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, gross humor, language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

5 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Van Wilder  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,302,913 (USA) (5 April 2002)

Gross:

$21,005,329 (USA) (10 May 2002)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gwen's letter to Van's father: Coolidge College Newspaper Journalism Dept Gwen Pearson "You don't know me, and that's exactly the way I like it. For four years, I've handed in all my articles ahead of time, grooming myself for the real world... And I, like many of us, defined the real world as everything that goes on outside the gates of this campus. The stuff that happens after graduation. I, like many of us, was wrong about that definition. It took a man named Van Wilder to teach me that. If I have not captured your attention until just now, I'm at all surprised. Anyone who has attended this university during these past seven years has undoubtedly been to one of Van's parties. He has probably touched your life in some way whether you know it or not. Watch Van Wilder do belly flops into the pool, but make sure you see he raised $5,000.00 to give the swim team another season. Also don't forget he raised over @6,000.00 for AIDS research in 'The Naked Mile Run'. As you are all no doubt aware, Van was almost expelled, but what you may not know is that he was set up by a pathetic, egomeniacal fratboy. Who this report knows firsthand has a problem with premature ejaculation. In reaction to this lynching, Van Wilder once again took the road less traveled. He has put in more effort in the last six days than most of us put in all semester. Win or lose, we should all be thankful to him, for reminding us what we are all capable of. He taught an uptight, unhappy reporter about life. He brought back her smile, her joy, her passion. It is simply what he does. He inspires the uninspired." See more »

Goofs

Van's right hand is alternately on/off of steering wheel knob between shots when Gwen, with a rain coat on, meets Van in the golf cart. See more »

Quotes

[Ms. Haver takes a long swig on some liquor]
Ms. Doris Haver: Oh yeah... that's the shit!
Van Wilder: You know... I think I'm getting a little coldsore come on... so maybe we shouldn't do this for 3 to 6 weeks?
Ms. Doris Haver: Shut up, bitch and give me some sugar!
See more »

Crazy Credits

A couple of deleted scenes play on during the end credits including makeout scene outtakes and others. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Deadpool (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Radio Song
Written by Kenny Scott, Denny Scott, Guy Erez, Emerson Swinford
Performed by Swirl 360
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
National Lampoon's Van Wilder is an aggressively funny movie,unashamed by its bad taste.
24 June 2002 | by (Fresno, CA USA) – See all my reviews

What this movie has and other movies lack are characters you admire and care about. The movie never succumbs to sentimentality, thankfully, and it keeps a high level of cheerfulness and humor through the entire running time. This is a movie that wants to party and have fun, where characters are in high spirits and at times a little inebriated. This is the movie that will put the National Lampoon franchise back into respectability. Not only is this movie gut-bustingly funny – if you can get past the crude visual puns like a pit-bull with what looks like a ten-pound scrotum attachment, and a crotch-enhancer pump that is mistaken for a bong – this transcendent comedy of gross manners is most affecting because it's incredibly well-made. Most college campus comedies are cheap in production value and clumsily structured. Van Wilder is exceedingly well-paced and smartly written, by writers Brent Goldberg and David T. Wagner (their love for Ferris Bueller is apparent) who know how to set up not only a joke but sequences of offhand slapstick that are irrepressibly absurd. Director Walter Becker (creator of the ingenious short-film Saving Ryan's Privates) handles the irreverent and random acts of background physical comedy with ease and panache.

The campus wild man is fittingly known as Van Wilder (played by Ryan Reynolds). Van Wilder is a guy that has friends from everywhere, from the jocks to the nerds. Reynolds finds a precarious balance between recklessness and cheerful insanity, which is crucial because he turns acts of humanitarian philanthropy into casual and spontaneous gestures without giving second thought. No job is ever too big for the man, whether it is becoming the de-facto basketball coach that inspires the school's team to win or setting up a rockin' party for the geekiest fraternity on campus. Van Wilder has enthusiastic support from everyone but his burned-out workaholic father (played by Tim Matheson, once the wild man in National Lampoon's Animal House) who decides after seven years of his son's enrollment to stop tuition payment.

Van Wilder becomes the subject of a school newspaper editorial and Tara Reid plays the snobby, uptight reporter Gwen whose ties belong to frat boy Richard Bagg (Daniel Cosgrove), who conducts hazing rituals that are crueler than anything since Animal House. When Gwen tries to get the naked truth from Van Wilder, she mostly just finds Van Wilder naked. But it's the smart rapport that develops between them that allows Van Wilder to strip Gwen's inhibitions, to let her walk on the wild side. In the background, a turf war erupts between Van Wilder and Richard.

The plotting is shameless in its methods of revenge. There are innocent people involved in the mayhem, including a scene where pre-pubescent boys raid one of Van Wilder's parties and end up barfing out of a school bus (but hey, these young boys had the time of their life until then). Richard's fraternity brothers are sent a basket full of éclairs stuffed with juices from a particular dormitory pet. In a knock-off homage to Dumb and Dumber, a character digests a bottle of colon blow right before he is to take a final exam.

The movie rarely takes a breath. It does settle for easy chuckles but goes for the comic gold, pushing past the ribbon of where comedy usually wears out in exhaust. Not every joke works, but you admire the efforts that the filmmakers went to in order to make you laugh. A virgin's first encounter with a girl that culminates in a massage oil rubdown gets more than messy and squanders too much, thus not earning any laughs. A scene where Van Wilder has to charm a raggedy and prunish administrator gets frighteningly explicit and goes on maybe one shot too many. But Van Wilder is always the man of the moment. One of the dorky characters goes to Van Wilder to ask him how to `muff dive.' Ultimately, Van Wilder is king and his rebel-bent philosophy is trippingly funny. At the end, you won't be able to remember all the funny scenes because there are just too many of them.


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