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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sorority Boys

Some may wonder why in the world I watched this film, from 2002, that mixes Tootsie, Some Like It Hot, and Animal House (the Animal House connection is reinforced by cameos by three different actors from that film), but is far inferior to any of those films. Well, it was an example of Netflix's "archiving the impulse." I had no idea why I added Sorority Boys to my queue, but I did--fourteen years ago. It patiently made its way up the ladder, until finally getting to the top. I felt I owed it a view.

Make no mistake, this is a bad film. Director Wally Wolodarsky, who wrote many of the early Simpsons' episodes, had a decent if unoriginal idea--frat boys are forced to masquerade as girls, and learn how terrible they've treated women. This was Tootsie, but in this film it's times three. Barry Watson, Michael Rosenbaum, and Harland Williams are our three heros. Watson is the guy groomed to work in business, Rosenbaum is the ladies' man, and Williams is the stoner (nicknamed Doofer). All of these guys are pretty good, especially Williams, who though seeming to miss half of his brain, is the one who comes up with the ideas (of course, they were all in the late twenties at the time).

The boys are framed by a supercilious fraternity president and kicked out, and dress as women to get back into the house to get evidence to clear them. They fail, and end up pledging to a sorority where the girl losers live, led by a feminist (Melissa Sagemiller). They then learn to get in touch with their feminine side (Rosenbaum is suddenly worried about his fat ass).

Where the film trips up is that it is supposedly about how men mistreat women but then mistreats women. There is some brief nudity, but the harassment is so harsh that there's no redemption possible. It also has some scenes of homosexual panic, the requisite semen joke, a duel with dildos, and jokes about a hirsute woman. Most of it is witless, though I can't say that it didn't make me smile a few times.

There is absolutely no reason to see this film unless you must see every movie in which men learn about women by pretending to be them. And they already made that movie. It's called Tootsie.

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