Directed by: Wallace Wolodarsky
Starring: Barry Watson, Harland Williams, Michael Rosenbaum, Melissa Sagemiller, Heather Matarazzo
I hated the first 10 to 15 minutes of this movie with the kind of passion I usually reserve for Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis retrospectives. It was stupid, gross, sexist and mean-spirited in the extreme. Then something happened to the film as soon as the boys got themselves all dragged up. The movie became more good-natured and the gags -- while still hit or miss -- actually started being pretty funny. It was as if director Wolodarsky and company suddenly forgot trying to be hip and realized that all they had here was the 21st-century version of Charley's Aunt and opted to go with it. Does this mean that Sorority Boys is a good movie? Not really, no, unless we're talking terms of relativity. Sure it's better than, say, Slackers, but then three-day-old meatloaf is better than six-day-old tuna casserole, too. And, no, the film never loses its tendency to go with gross-out gags, nor does it ever attain the manic intensity of a good version of Charley's Aunt. Sorority Boys does, however, manage to evoke quite a few solid laughs once it hits its stride -- and even put forth its little message on men's misconceptions about women, and vice-versa. When Dave (Barry Watson), Adam (Michael Rosenbaum) and Doofer (Harland Williams) are framed on charges of stealing their fraternity's cruise fund, the trio find themselves without a place to live and their reputations (such as they are) on the line. So they opt to masquerade as women and take up residency in the Delta Omicron Gamma (D.O.G., of course) sorority house while they attempt to find a videotape of the real culprit that will clear their names. Hilarity ensues ... or at least that's the idea. I wouldn't quite call the results hilarious -- with the possible exception of an almost surreal scene in which Adam finds himself trapped in his old room with an overheated nerdy frat boy bent on seducing him (the pay-off to this scene is priceless and far too raunchy to recount here) -- but which are often funny and generally entertaining. There are moments that almost reach the level of inspired lunacy: the above-mentioned seduction scene, a "swordfight" with colorful ... um ... sex toys, an ending gag that's a variation on the last shot of the Marx Brothers' At the Circus, etc. And the three leads ultimately become rather engaging, if not endearing. What really works about the threesome is the way in which they slide so easily into their preconceptions of what women are like, especially Rosenbaum's Adam/Adina. Though his character resists the idea the most, he's the one who almost immediately starts obsessing about the size of his posterior, claiming that he has to wear heels because they make his legs look slimmer, complaining about how clothes are never his size, and making remarks like, "That's easy for you to say; you're pretty." There's definitely a nice chemistry with the three leads. Sorority Boys has been on the receiving end of amazingly vicious criticism, most of which centers on the fact that the guys aren't as good as Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot. While that may be true, it completely misses the point. The film is certainly not trying to be in that league. It's a movie with no real purpose other than being an entertaining little comedy, and, in its own way, it succeeds often enough to pass muster as a raunchily amusing 90 minutes.