September 4, 2008

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College (R)
Three high school seniors discover the indiscriminate sex, the questionable hygiene and the binge drinking that makes those four years between high school and real life such a magical time in College, a low-rent National Lampoon-ish comedy.

Kevin (Drake Bell, who is best known for Drake & Josh which means something if you are either currently a high school/ middle school student or a parent of somebody who is) is a quiet but menschy high school senior recently dumped by his girlfriend for being too boring. Morris (Kevin Covais) is a super-nerdy kid of the McLovin variety. Carter (Andrew Caldwell) is the loud chubby kid always required by movies like this to serve as the dirty mind of the dorkier kids. For varying reasons and with varying goals, these three boys decide to visit a nearby college for the weekend wherein they:
Meet a bad fraternity and become its whipping boys.
Meet three nice girls, each one perfectly suited to one of the boys.
Find out that one of the nice girls has some connection to one of the bad frat boys.
Get into trouble with authority figures.
Drink.
Puke.
Learn something about themselves.

This is, to some extent, the plot of every college movie. This is, very loosely, the plot to the first season of Greek, the surprisingly entertaining dramedy on ABC Family. But College does all of this particularly artlessly. The loud kid is excessively, unnecessarily loud; the dorky kids are achingly dorky. These credit card-possessing kids dont know where to turn when their scheduled room is disgustingly unavailable and there is really way too much unintentional poop figuring in to the lives of people who, allegedly, have it together enough to attend and stay enrolled in college (or even for people who have it together enough to dress themselves). These characters are too stupid to be who were supposed to believe they are. If we dont at least a little bit believe these could be real people then how can their wild situations be shocking enough to be funny?

College feels not only too disingenuous but it feels cheap, like its made from chintzy fabric and cut by a giant machine created to serve the demands of quantity, not quality. A discount replication of too many movies before it, College seems like a cheap knockoff quickly headed for the clearance bin. D-

Rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content, nudity, language, drug and alcohol abuse. Directed by Deb Hagan and written by Dan Callahan and Adam Ellison, College is an hour and 34 minutes long and is distributed in wide release by MGM.