Spirited homage to Animal House
Fraternity movies have been numerous and mostly crap: most of the frat-boy stuff out in (mostly American) cinemas was never able to reach that pinnacle of greek humour, National Lampoon's Animal House. There have been other testosterone fueled movies that produced great laughs for the boys, like John Hughes's Weird Science, Bob Clark's Porky's, the Farrelly Brothers' There's something about Mary and Paul Weitz's American Pie which combined immature fart jokes with some pretty intelligent one-liners. Of course there are horrible examples of how not to do it: The likes of Nerds, Party Animal, and pretty much every Adam Sandler 'comedy' are horrible examples of how not to try and make people laugh.
Old School's story is quickly told: Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson), a lawyer in his early thirties, arrives one day home early just to find out that his girlfriend has turned to gangbanging strangers from the internet. Obviously peeved, he moves out to a nice old house on the local campus. To celebrate his new home, his friend 'Beanie' Campbell (Vince Vaughn), a local audio-kit merchant, throws a big party for him, inviting pretty much the whole student body, featuring Snoop Doggy Dog and Warren G.. While everybody has harmless fun and gets a bit laid, Mitch's other best friend Frank 'the tank' Ricard (Will Ferrel) gets completely blasted and starts streaking down the street, only to be caught by his newly wed wife, gets kicked out of home and starts flatsharing with Mitch. Hilarity ensues when they decide to found a fraternity to avoid losing the house to the university.
Now, this is of course not Oscar-worthy cinema (on the other hand, neither were Titanic, Braveheart, Chicago, Forrest Gump and Shakespeare in Love, but that's a different story). The script writer copies classic setpieces from Animal House and Stripes, but it doesn't matter: the actors gel well, Will Ferrel is consistently hilarious and it fortunately doesn't follow the 'gross out' comedy example of American Pie. Nevertheless, it works, and it works well: I found myself frequently laughing my head off, something that a comedy hasn't managed for a long time, even though I knew I was being seduced with somebody else's material.
It just didn't matter. Get your endorphine fix and watch it.