The Bum’s Rush

Sorority Boys

Directed by Wally Wolodarsky

(Barry Watson, Michael Rosenbaum, Harland Williams, Melissa Sagemiller)

R

Twenty years ago, director Sidney Pollack and his leading man, Dustin Hoffman, took a gamble on a farcical idea: What happens when a man, desperate for a job, dresses and lives his life as a woman? The result was Tootsie, a smashing film that garnered ten Oscar nominations and provoked thought about gender issues.

How far has Hollywood come since Tootsie’s release? Judging by Sorority Boys, tinsel town took a giant leap backwards.

Within the first ten minutes, Sorority Boys’ contrived, by-the-numbers plot is in motion. Frat boy Dave (Barry Watson, whose selfless lampooning in Ocean’s Eleven seems all the more appropriate now) and his despicable buddies (Michael Rosenbaum and Harland Williams) are accused of swiping cash from their fraternity. But wait, the real culprit is caught on tape, and Dave’s idea is – get this – to pose as sorority girls, attend a party, and steal back the evidence. Will the boys conveniently find themselves faced with the prejudices, sexism, and transgressions women experience everyday? Will they end up showering with their fellow sorority sisters? HmmmÖ

What makes this film so utterly petty is that it lacks what other “gross-out” comedies, such as Kingpin or American Pie, inherently knew: regardless of shallowness, a film must present a redeeming value. Sorority Boys makes such an insipid mockery of both genders that it renders all the characters dry and inane. Instead, director Wally Wolodarsky’s movie offers how to launch dildos into neighboring homes.

Sorority Boys gets half a lens only because it works as a perfect example for anyone pondering the soulless lengths Hollywood will travel to make a buck. It’s a tired, insulting, diluted repackaging of a once profitable idea run dry where the film’s only highlight is a cameo by the mail guy from Just Shoot Me – a command I muttered several times throughout this mess.

– Charlie Hobart

 

Sorority Boys opens March 22.