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Van Wilder More at IMDbPro »

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Put it down to experience Ryan

Author: Martyn ( from Brisbane
1 April 2002

Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys and a Girl) is Van Wilder - the most popular guy on campus; shuttling his way around in a golf cart, and handing out advice to his many followers. He's a man enjoying the education-in-reverse lifestyle he's fashioned for himself, and has deliberately flunked his courses across seven long years to preserve it. Van's father Vance (played by Animal House's Tim Matheson) however, is failing to see his son's eternal education as a sound investment of his countless dollars, and decides to cut off the funds leaving Van to finance his own way through college. Enlisting the help of his buddy Hutch (Teck Holmes) and eager to get laid Indian assistant Raj (Kal Penn of television's Buffy), Van sets about transforming himself from the most popular man in college to the ultimate party organiser, earning the cash to pay for the study.

When eager college newspaper reporter Gwen - keen to be given worthy exposes - is assigned to write a feature on the legend that is Van Wilder, she sets out to show him as a chancer on the make. But as she begins to spend more time with him, she realises there's another side to the man, and her hack jobs turn into more sympathetic prose. None of this sits well with Gwen's preppy boyfriend Dick (Daniel Cosgrove of ‘Valentine' in a role which casts a knowing nod to the kind of baddy James Spader used to play so well) - leaving the two boys the rest of the film to set about discrediting each other, and thereby winning the heart of Gwen.

Perhaps time will be kinder to Van Wilder: Party Liaison than this review. It's not without it's charms; as the star Ryan Reynolds is engaging - despite his unsettling likeness to a young Chevy Chase. And while he's not given great scope for comedic depth - this being a film that relies on broad brush strokes and gross out comedy American Pie-style - he certainly holds his own as a romantic male lead. Equally, the ever-lovely Tara Reid works single handedly to salvage respect for her sex amongst a parade of women in underwear desperate to sleep with Van Wilder or one of his cohorts. Also noteworthy is Kal Penn as Raj, who will do nothing to disarm racial stereotypes of Indians, but certainly provides some politically incorrect laughs.

But somewhere down the production road, this movie found itself pulling in opposite directions because while it starts out as typical contemporary gross out comedy (a large section of the movie is given over to a dog ejaculating into cream buns - subsequently consumed by movie bad guy Dick), midway through it lurches into the kind of territory John Hughes used to call his own - the teen romantic comedy. In a knowing glance to its latter scenario it even casts Paul Gleason as the college prof on Van Wilder's tail - much as he was with the detentioning rebels in The Breakfast Club. All up, this is a likeable film if broad comedy is your thing, and a good film if you long for the eighties, but not one that's going to remain in anyone's memories for very long - and for that, both Tara Reid and Ryan Reynolds should be very grateful.

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this film rocks

Author: Fady ( from vencie, Florida
31 March 2002

van wilder was the most hilarious national lampoons flick i have seen in a while. it lives up to the movie animal house and u can find it very similar indeed. van wilder is one heck of a tummy aching film. you will laugh your socks off, worth seeing more than once.

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Amazingly Funny Film, proud to have seen it already

Author: irememberlarry from London, England
31 March 2002

I saw this film over a month ago in a special screening where we had to fill in survey forms after the film. This film is excellently acted and hilarious - a great addition to the National Lampoon 'series'. I feel truly privileged to have already seen it.

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The Animal House of the 21st Century

Author: jimbu from Cleveland, OH
30 March 2002

Just checked a sneak preview of Van Wilder at the movies. It is non-stop funny. Declare it as The Animal House of the 21st Century. I know it is far off from the classic with John Belushi, but you will laugh so much, it will leave you with a headache. Ryan Reynolds as Van was a perfect find for the character. He played the role with such enthusiaism, taking on a Bluto/Otter combo role. I can see why 7 years of college could be worth it in regard to fun. Tara Reid as Gwen was nice. A cutie and intelligent mind in the film matched the funny wits of the film. Tim Matheson did a good job as Van's Dad. Would've been nice to see more of him throughout the film, maybe some Otter resets would've be flooring. Paul Gleason, yes, the same Paul Gleason from Trading Places and Breakfast Club had a nice role. I was expecting him to be like a Dean Wormer, but he was cool as a professor, not sleazy or commanding like so many of his other movie roles. Last, but not least, Curtis Armstrong, Booger from the Revenge of the Nerds films was funny as a campus police officer. Special mention: catch Erik "Ponch" Estrada and L.A. Clippers stars Lamar Odom, Darius Miles and Michael Olkawandi in special scenes. A lot of bathroom humor and takes from American Pie, Road Trip, Not Another Teen Movie and Animal House of course. This movie is worth the 90 minutes of your afternoon or evening. Be prepared to laugh yourself crazy! 8.9/10

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Good College Comedy

Author: osubluejacket from Columbus, OH
30 March 2002

My university had an advanced screening of Van Wilder a couple of weeks ago, and I must say that I found it to be up there with the likes of American Pie and Animal House when it comes to gross out, college humor.

Van is a college student who has spent seven years at his school. Upon learning this, Van's father (portrayed by Lampoon alum Tim Matheson) decides to stop paying his tuition, which leads Van to find other ways of earning tuition money.

Tara Reid plays a reporter for his college's newspaper, and with Van being a BMOC, she is assigned to get Van's story for the graduation edition. Van, however, spends most of their time together trying to get a date, much to the dismay of her boyfriend, Richard (played by Daniel Cosgrove), a pre-med student applying to Northwestern.

The most humorous performance, however, goes to Van's assistant Taj (played by Kal Penn). Taj is an international student who volunteers his time to Van in order to learn how to better pick up women.

This is a very typical college humor movie, along the lines of American Pie and Animal House. The gross-out gags were laugh out loud funny, and the movie moved along at a good pace. If you're in the mood for a very good, juvenile comedy, I'd definitely recommend seeing Van Wilder.

7 out of 10 *'s.

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FINALLY! National Lampoon delivers a hit comedy.

Author: caffeine3 from Minneapolis
13 March 2002

Remember when National Lampoon movies were funny? Yeah, its been a while, and if you've been to Vegas Vacation or Senior Trip in the last (whats it been, 10 years?) you'll know what I'm talking about.

But at last, National Lampoon's "Van Wilder" has hit the mark with this hilarious installment. I just came from a free preview and all my friends agreed that this is definately one of the funnier movies we've seen in a LONG time.

Ryan Reynolds (Van) is gut-bustingly funny throughout the film with his own spin of Jim Carrey/Jeremy Piven charisma, and Tara Ried shines as always as the ridiculously hot school newspaper reporter.

If you're looking for a good time and great laughs reminiscent of PCU, Real Genius or Animal House, then GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

But as fair warning, if you have any qualms about excessive grossness, beware, Van Wilder is chock full of it.

Personally, I can't wait see more of Ryan Reynolds. The guy is hilarious!


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Outstanding Comedy. One of the best I've seen in a long time.

Author: marvschlom from Los Angeles, California
25 February 2002

This is by far one of the best comedies I've seen in a long time. From opening to close it is full of both subtle, dry humor as well as the in your face potty humor we tend to need from time to time. Be prepared to be disgusted in one or two spots (you might need a strong stomach - I say no more). But overall it's just good clean oily fun. It's one of those movies you'll be quoting often.

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A classic college flick; complete with tasteful/tasteless humor...

Author: Josh Szwed from Syracuse, NY
21 February 2002

I was fortunate to see this flick at a sneak preview. I didn't expect anything more than another Road Trip/Scary Movie type movie aimed at a teen to college-aged audience, complete with sex, parties, drugs, and low-brow humor. I was somewhat surprised, but also got what I expected. Without giving anything away, I was surprised to see meaningful scenes of tasteful humor and an overall representation of all college staples. I was not surprised to encounter scenes (one in particular) of disgusting low-brow, toilet humor. Fortunately, these scenes were spaced far enough apart to ease their impact on the movie. But they are still the ones you remember first right after the movie (and warn friends of before they go to see it). Kudos to Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, and Kal Penn (who steals the show). Reynolds fits this role perfectly, after showing potential on "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place." Tara Reid backs up her ever-increasing hotness with another "sexy but intelligent girl" performance. Kal Penn is hilarious as an international student from India with an unexpected agenda. Go see this movie if you want to have a good time with some friends. Better than American Pie, but I wish Chevy Chase would have made a cameo.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Didn't Make Me Genuinely Laugh Once,

Author: FilmBuff1994 from Ireland
18 July 2014

Van Wilder: Party Liaison is an awful movie with a storyline that seemed interesting but turned out terrible and a great comedic cast that are wasted by a brutal script.The movie is just one ridiculous joke after another,I literally didn't properly laugh at any scene,a lot of parts were just purposely disgusting,like the part with the dog and the twinkies,I don't see how anyone could write something like that and expect people to find it funny instead of just plain gross.I really like Ryan Reynolds as an actor and he's gone on to prove after this film that he can definitely act,but Van Wilder was just an annoying character that I found very unlikeable and wasn't rooting for him throughout this film,the only character who's scenes I enjoyed in any way was Kal Penn's character.Van Wilder: Party Liaison is a terrible movie that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

Van Wilder,a student who's been attending college for seven years and showing no sign of leaving,realizes that he is afraid to face the real world when a journalist starts writing about him.

Best Performance: Kal Penn Worst Performance: Daniel Cosgrove

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not that bad

Author: Floated2
14 September 2010

Van Wilder (the film) introduces us to its title character (Reynolds), a suave, charming 7th-year undergrad at Coolidge College, who, although he hardly ever goes to class, is more intelligent than anyone else on campus, including the professors, and has a long line of people interviewing for the coveted position as his assistant. But when Van's dad (Tim Matheson) decides to cut off his son's tuition money, Van and Taj must come up with $20,000 for him to stay in school. Thinking this is an interesting story idea, the school newspaper editor (played briefly by Tom Everett Scott) assigns no-nonsense journalist and Gwen (Reid) to get the story.

The film goes predictably from there, with Gwen at first disliking Van, but then discovering that he's really a charming guy with integrity and scruples, as opposed to her own snooty frat-boy fiancé (Daniel Cosgrove), and for some reason, Van is attracted to her, too. Along the way we are treated to every juvenile joke imaginable, from a sex-crazed elderly woman to a dog with huge testicles to a stripper letting go on Taj to Van filling dog semen into pastries to a diarrhea-plagued final exam student. It's all absolutely hilarious if you are under 16 years old. So overall it's not funny. Sure, there are plenty of would-be comedy moments that fall flat, and any film that defaults to vomit, urine, semen and farts as often as this one can safely be assumed to be reaching low, not high. But at least there are a few good gags here, a bit of off-the-wall humour (such as Erik Estrada auditioning to be Van's personal assistant), and – most importantly – there are likable characters too.

Van is too self-assuredly assertive as a scam artist to be lovable, but Reynolds brings enough charisma to the role to at least make us want him to succeed. And Reid – she of girl-next-door prettiness and raspy voice – might not perfectly fit the bill as any film's serious intellectual, but she's still as likable as they come. Van Wilder is often silly – and gross – but it's rarely as moronic as some campus gross-out films-. If you don't try to compare it to fine cinema, and you can stomach the gross-out stuff, then you might just find enough here to come away satisfied – relatively speaking.

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