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A typical Midwestern 18 year-old freshman at a large state university, eager to delve into the college party life, discovers instead that school is not the beer-driven, sexual fantasy of his imagination. Determined to do anything to obtain the girl of his dreams (a gorgeous but reluctant sorority girl), he decides to adopt a gay identity in order to insinuate himself in her life. This casual charade, however, quickly lands him in a morass of campus activism, gender warfare, fraternity hazes, sorority torture, "coming out" narratives, political martyrdom, and ultimately a university-wide meltdown. Written by
Godawful attempt that misfires in every way possible
This is one I always kind of hesitated to watch and ended up finding reasons not to sit down and just watch it. But when I finally did...wow. I wish I hadn't.
Freshman Orientation (the better of the two titles it was best known as) is one of those movies that you watch and you can see that there were some good ideas and maybe even some good intentions in there, but literally none of them is even remotely well-realized in the resulting movie. While there may be points later where it seems to pay off, it takes too long to get there, doesn't make up for the time wasted, and really isn't worth the extremely unpleasant journey.
It takes every opportunity to toss out offensive epithets, unfunny attempts at gutter humor, and caricatures that the main audience probably wouldn't recognize. If you do recognize the characters they're supposed to be...you'll be offended at how poorly they're done. There's so much comedic potential here, it's just never brought to a point where it's funny. It could have been a fantastic satire and commentary on these types of people we all know and have met, but it failed in every respect.
And while I'm not saying low-brow gutter jokes are inappropriate -- college frat settings are perfect for that -- it takes a special kind of failure to fail at that kind of humor. How can you miss on that? Gutter humor is made to amuse the lowest common denominator!
The whole affair is so abominably poorly-done that it's really hard to figure out who you're supposed to care about, as the audience. All of the characters are horrible, stupid, or in some way completely unsympathetic. They seem to be going out of their way at every moment to be hard to like. At no point will you ever think "that character seems like somebody I'd like to be friends with" unless you are a psychopath.
When you get down to it, perhaps the largest and greatest problem this movie suffers from is that it has no audience. If you're a fan of "fun frat" style movies, you'll have no fun at all with this movie. If you're gay or lesbian, you'll find this movie unpleasantly ugly and offensive, as well as annoyingly smug and self-satisfied, with no reason for it to be. Audiences that are here for fraternity silliness and boobs (which the film does provide) won't want to experience the piled-on homophobia and hate, and they won't recognize most of the cartoonish caricatures. Audiences familiar with the hardship of being gay and out probably won't find any entertainment in experiencing one unpleasantness after another related to it that strike a little too close to home, without any real comedy that manages to work balancing it out.
Anyone else will find it difficult to watch, much less enjoy, a film that has zero likable characters, zero jokes that actually work, and zero fun. Please, watch something else. You will regret the time you spent in this horrible abomination that wastes what few decent actors it gets on something that I can't imagine they were too proud to put in their portfolio.
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