Owen Gleiberman
September 10, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

College

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
95 minutes
Wide Release Date
08/29/08
performer
Drake Bell, Kevin Covais, Andrew Caldwell
director
Deb Hagan
distributor
MGM
author
Adam Ellison, Dan Callahan
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C-

In College, a trio of high school seniors — a shyly presentable normal guy (Drake Bell), a chubby motormouth (Andrew Caldwell) who spews his every colorful porno thought, and a boyishly bespectacled geek virgin (Kevin Covais) — spend a weekend crashing frat parties at Fieldmont University, where all three are prospective freshmen. The movie is Animal House crossed with (warning! Very frightening thought coming!) an incredibly dumbed-down Superbad. You know how much times have changed when you meet the main fraternity’s Bluto figure, a paramilitary psycho named Bearcat (Gary Owen) whose most evolved activity is playing paintball sniper. That’s as innovative as the movie gets.

Our heroes go to a girls-gone-mildly-wild, drink-till-you-puke bash in which each one of them wastes no time hooking up with a babe (yeah, right). The next night, they go to another party, this one with strippers and Verne Troyer (as himself). The dialogue runs to such witty observations as ”On a scale of one to 10, boobies are a 9,000!” Friendly yet toothless, College musters little energy even as anarchic-party-movie nostalgia. Maybe that’s because in Animal House, there was a real institution to rebel against — it was called college — whereas here, the frat house has become the institution. The characters go through the rituals of hedonism, humiliation, and revenge as dutifully as if they were applying for their first corporate jobs. C-

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