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With: Barry Watson, Michael Rosenbaum, Harland Williams, Melissa Sagemiller, Heather Matarazzo
Written by: Joe Jarvis and Greg Coolidge
Directed by: Wally Wolodarsky
MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content, nudity, strong language and some drug use
Running Time: 96
Date: 03/19/2002

Sorority Boys (2002)

0 Stars

The Leech Boys

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Where do I start? I don't suppose there's any need to slowly build up to a surprising climax. I'll just lay my cards on the table and say that Sorority Boys is the stupidest, most insulting movie of 2002's first quarter. It even goes head-to-head with some of 2000 and 2001's worst offerings.

Sorority Boys dearly wants to be another National Lampoon's Animal House, but it also wants to have a Moral Message about being kind to ugly women. All its dimwit characters learn to be Better Men for their trials and tribulations. But at the same time, they get to ogle some hot babes in wet t-shirts.

In other words, Sorority Boys makes Nuns on the Run look like an unqualified masterpiece.

In the film (if we can call it that), Dave (Barry Watson), Adam (Michael Rosenbaum) and Doofer (Harland Williams) belong to the coolest, most partying, "dude" frat on campus, named K.O.K. Whenever an ugly girl shows up at one of their parties, they call in the "Dogcatcher" and throw them out on their behinds. Most of these ugly girls belong to a sorority called D.O.G. (it's already side-splitting, isn't it?).

In other words, Sorority Boys makes the decidedly unfunny Kids in the Hall look like the Marx Brothers.

It gets worse. The K.O.K. hosts an annual Cocktail (spelled KOK-tail) Cruise in which they invite prominent businessmen in the hopes of landing cushy jobs that will allow them to pull down a hundred grand a year and still get to party. But when the money for the cruise is stolen from the frat house, our trio of miscreants shoulders the blame.

Ousted from their frat, they dress up as women and pledge the D.O.G. sorority while they bide their time, hoping to break in to the K.O.K. house to steal a videotape incriminating the frat's president (easily the movie's most annoying character -- though it's a close contest), who really took the money.

From there, every frame plays out exactly like you would expect, and every joke is lifted from some other stupid men-in-drag movie. Most of the jokes consist of the three manly-boys talking about how much trouble it is to have a fat caboose or stocking runs or whatnot. Jokes like these harken back to the days when men wore bowlers and women wore petticoats -- back when slipping on a banana peel brought down the house. Simply put, men dressing up as women just aren't funny.

It gets worse. One of the guys, Dave/Daisy, falls in love with the head of the D.O.G. house, a cute ultra-feminist blonde named Leah (Melissa Sagemiller) and basically spends 24-7 with her -- both as Daisy, taking showers with her and painting her toenails, and as Dave, her study partner in a Women's Studies class. But Leah never quite notices.

In fact, no one ever notices that these ugly, ugly women with men's voices don't quite seem right. Not to mention that the three guys have suddenly "disappeared."

In other words, Sorority Boys makes To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar look like Some Like It Hot.

It gets worse. Just when the filmmakers can't figure out where to go next, they pull a football game out of thin air. The sexy cheerleader sorority plays the D.O.G.s for the honor of attending the KOK-tail cruise. If you guessed that this game consists of nothing but sexy blondes in skimpy outfits -- with bonus wet t-shirt footage! -- kicking our heroes in the groins, you'd be absolutely correct.

It ends with a speech about objectifying women and Leah eventually forgiving Dave for his ruse. (The recent and far superior Slackers used the exact same plot device, down to the precise timing of the scenes.) But even in this last scene, the movie is all about objectifying and insulting women. The filmmakers clearly haven't learned their own lesson.

Sorority Boys is even dumber than I've made it sound here, but I'd have to go into more plot detail than I can stomach to illustrate the other lazy, bone-headed mistakes it makes. I'll just leave off by saying that it might be a good idea to bring back the Hollywood blacklist and add writers Joe Jarvis and Greg Coolidge and director Wally Wolodarsky to it.

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