Van Wilder: Party Liaison (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/09/2002

One out of five stars
Running time: 90 mins

When I first saw the title for this movie I assumed that it had something to do with a party in a van. As things turned out, that might have made for a more interesting movie than proved to be the case.

Perennial Student

The eponymous Van (Ryan Reynolds) - is, in fact, a perennial college student who has decided to make immaturity a career. He’s now in his 7th graduation year, an achievement that brings him to the attention of the faculty newspaper.

Enter cub reporter Gwen Pearson (Tara Reid – American Pie 1 & 2, Josie and the Pussycats), who is assigned to profile this phenomenon. At first the earnest hack is repelled by Van’s dedication to hedonism but soon, surprise surprise, the ice begins to melt.

However, Gwen’s main squeeze, who is even more repugnant than Van the man, gets wind of this and seeks to get Van out of the frame by sabotaging one of his famous parties.


The many problems that beset this film start with Van himself. He’s presented as some kind of party-going rebel who only has to look at girls for their underwear to fall off. But in fact, he’s the sort of guy who, should he fetch up at a UK college, would immediately attract the epithet ‘wanker’. As for the legendary parties he throws, these look like a throwback to the 50s when Cliff Richard used to dance on the tops of buses except then the music was better.

Another problem is Tara Reid. She was excellent in American Pie and Josie and The Pussycats, but here she looks 27 going on 37. Her baggy eyes and gravel voice give the impression that she’s been to one party too many and is mightily pissed at having to appear in a movie like this.

Jive-ass Dopers

Scripts are not important in the genre known as gross-out comedy, which is just as well because this movie doesn’t appear to have one. There are the usual sight gags: vomit, diahorrea, sperm strewn hair, but nothing that hasn’t been thrown up before, except, perhaps, some nasty racial stereotyping - black people are portrayed solely as basketball players or jive-ass dopers.

Whereas teen comedies like 10 Things I Hate About You and American Pie had likeable characters and witty scripts, this has morons and a bulldog with giant balls. In fact, with its terrible title, dated poster and cultural values from another planet, you have to wonder what it is doing in UK cinemas.

There is one redeeming feature to the whole mess, though: at a time when anti-Americanism is at an all-time high, Van Wilder: Party Liaison helps you understand why.

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Van Wilder: Party Liaison (15)
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Content updated: 23/07/2018 01:24

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