The Freshman (1925)
7/10
Harold Lloyd is his awkward, lovable self
15 November 2018
Harold Lloyd is his awkward, lovable self in 'The Freshman', where he goes off to college seeking popularity. He's mostly mocked without realizing it, and after trying out for the football team, is used as a tackling dummy in practice and then as a water boy during the game, though of course thinks he may go in at any time. He hosts a big dance, the 'Fall Frolic', but has his ill-tailored suit falls apart as he tries to move around. There are few laugh out loud moments, even if the film's heart is in the right place, and some of the scenes go on for just a little too long. Seeing football played so long ago, even comically, with those thin leather helmets and that puffier ball, and finding out the crowd scenes were shot at halftime during the 1924 'Big Game' between Cal and Stanford, was also personally interesting. That move where he unlaces the ball is pretty cool too. Lastly, and this is kind of a quirky thing of mine, but I like how Lloyd gives us shots of objects or things in print in his films, in this case various books from the period, newspaper articles, and a crossword puzzle he notices Jobyna Ralston doing on a train and tries to help her with. Even her final message to him is a handwritten note, and very sweet. Not quite as good as 'Safety Last' or 'Girl Shy' from the previous two years, but solid entertainment.
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