Harry here with a film that I'm learning about at the same time you are... Quint's seen it, and he's about it... read on....
Ahoy there, squirties. 'Tis, I the ever crusty and now totally exhausted seaman back in my home port of Austin after spending two weeks in Los Angeles. On that trip I embarked on many adventures, the biggest of which was a continuous presence on the set of the single coolest indie film shooting right now... but you'll get more on that later.
Right now I'm gonna tell you a little about Going Greek, an indie
comedy about hazing and other fun college stuff.
It's a movie that doesn't ignore the inhuman and seemingly barbaric tortures young college students are subjected to while pledging a big fraternity, but at the same time it finds the lighter side to all of that. It shows us these strange rituals that make us cringe... but writer/director Justin Zackham does it with a smile.
Like Kevin Smith did with Dogma, Zackham pokes fun at the frats, but underneath the playful jabs is a genuine feeling of respect towards the ideas and brotherhood that fraternities represent. The main frat house in the film is a place where I, a geek in all sense of the word, would have been comfortable in. The brothers of this fraternity are good people, with the exception of the one or two bad eggs that have to be there to fill the antagonist position.
I get the feeling that Zackham really wanted to make the Animal
House for this generation... matter of fact, there's an Animal House cameo
in the film, which I won't spoil should any of you out there find this movie
at some point. Now, Going Greek is far from the second coming of Belushi,
but goddamnit if that was the criteria for which all college comedies were
judged, there would only be Animal House.
Honestly, when the movie started I kinda rolled my eyes... I was kinda in a bad place. I knew one of the stars of the film, the beautiful and talented Ms. Laura Harris, and on top of that I was spending my last week in Los Angeles on her couch. Being the poor salt I am, I couldn't afford a hotel room. What was I going to say if it turned out to be poor?
It opened up with a guy stumbling out of a frat house, he swaggers... then walks right up to camera, opens his mouth and the camera zooms into the blackness of the open mouth just as he vomits. That was where I rolled my eyes. Oh shit. But then a magical thing happened. It actually worked. The writing was actually pretty funny and even better, the casting was perfect. I can give a lot of credit to Justin Zackham for writing this film and directing it the way he did, but none of that would have mattered if he miscast the picture.
It stars Dylan Bruno (the asshole husband of Natalie Portman in Where The Heart Is) as a just and kind Football Star who transfers to his cousin's college. His cousin, Gil, played by Dublin James, is a legacy to the coolest frat on campus, but the problem is... he's a dweeb. A funny and sweet guy, but a dweeb nonetheless. He basically needs his popular Jock cousin to pledge with him to guarantee his acceptance into the frat. They do and whacky hijinks ensue.
There's the sexed up womanizer pledge (Oliver Hudson), the
pot-head pledge (Todd Giebenhain) who steals just about every scene he's in,
the born to be a frat brother party guy pledge (Steve Monroe... Yeah, that
guy from the "Zesty" Taco Bell commercials) and then you have Chris Owen's
asshole character which he's honed to perfection from American Pie
(Sherminator anyone?), She's All That, etc.
Now, I'm leaving out a bunch more people, but if I keep going
I'll end up spoiling too many surprise characters and character traits. I do
want to bring up two more people before I move on though: Laura Harris and
James DeBello. DeBello, who was awesome in Detroit Rock City, has a cameo in
the film and is fucking hilarious. This man needs to work a lot more. He's
quite a character.
Laura, lovely Laura. Now, I may be a bit biased when talking about this blonde goddess, but what the hell. Those long time readers may remember the interview I did with her before Faculty came out (Read it Here It's Covered In Crusty Clothes!). Those that have read that interview knew how in love I am with this woman way back in the Summer of '98. Now it's 3 years later and I'm sleeping on her couch and watching her new movies. God Bless America.
Anyway, she plays Paige, the would be girlfriend to Dylan Bruno's
character who refuses to date somebody who is pledging a fraternity due to
some dark secret she won't reveal. She's goddamn hot, dude. Still is. And
just the sweetest person in the world. Who could not fall in love with this
woman? This woman, right here:
Bruno's character is stupid, stupid, stupid for not staying by this woman's side... Sure, he's doing good things for his cousin by pledging, but dude... It's friggin' Laura. Family or Laura? Tough call... I can't say I'd have the moral fabric to ignore Laura to help out a cousin...
Moving on... What this movie excels at is not pulling its
punches. It's like a good old fashioned '80s teen sex romp. Ladies and
Gentlemen, we have titties in this movie.
For a long time and quite frequently. There are titties and raunchiness that'd put American Pie to shame. It's about hazing for Chrissakes! They have much more real life grossness to take from, including my favorite scene in the film.
There's this hazing situation where you get all the pledges in a circle, put a cake or cookie-cake in the middle of the circle and have them all masturbate. The last one to finish has to eat the whole cake... with the new organic "frosting" and all. They call it a "Circle Jerk." Well, in this film they do this "Circle Jerk," but do it to the Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not only that, but a thought bubble pops up for each of the pledges and we get a window into their fantasies and see exactly what's exciting them as they jerk off. It's the single funniest 3 minutes of continious gags I've seen in quite a long while.
I couldn't believe they got The Raiders March. It's not remixed
or some alternative version. It was the honest to God John Williams famous
Indiana Jones theme. I turned to Laura after the scene and said, "That had
to be the temp score. There's no way you guys got that in the movie in this
context." She told me the everything was final on the film, but a few sound
mixing things. So, I hope to God this scene stays in the film as is and that
the Raiders Theme is not a temp track. It was perfection, I tell ya'!
So, those who love a good gross out teen sex farce college movie
thingy would definitely get a kick outta this flick. Will you be able to see
it anytime soon? I know there's a distributor's screening sometime in the
near future, but as of right now it's not picked up. I'll keep you folks up
to date on this one. I can't imagine with material as strong as this that
the film would stay undistributed for very long.
There you have it, squirties. I got a few script reviews to throw at ya' as well as some in-depth looks at this mysterious indie film I visited while in LA. Look for a hunka-hunka lot of exclusive pics and coverage of this soon to be cult classic flick in the very near future. 'Til that day, my lovely mermaids and fellow seaman. 'Til that day. Farewell and adieu.