Old School

I probably laughed harder at this collection of college slapstick sketches than I ever have at a film I didn’t really like, Dave Kehr once wrote in this paper about Animal House, and that’s pretty much my reaction to Old School. Directed, cowritten, and coproduced by Todd Phillips, this cheerfully vulgar low-comedy tale of three out-of-sorts 30ish blowhards (Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn) trying to rekindle the spark of their college days by setting up a frat house starts out silly, gets sillier by the minute, and frequently had me and most of the people around me in stitches. Don’t expect clever plotting or witty dialogue, but credit Phillips’s easy way with actors and his sharp sense of how to use or avoid pathos. (The film also shows the paw prints of Animal House producer Ivan Reitman.) With Ellen Pompeo, Juliette Lewis, Leah Remini, and Jeremy Piven. R, 91 min. (JR)

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