A scene from 'Sorority Boys'
Courtesy Photo
no stars 94 minutes | Rated: R
Opened: Friday, March 22, 2002
Directed by Wally Wolodarsky

Starring Barry Watson, Harland Williams, Michael Rosenbaum, Melissa Sagemiller, Heather Matarazzo

This film is on the Worst of 2002 list.


Only with an audience full of laughing morons could this movie be remotely tolerable. Watching it at home will only make it worse.

   VIDEO RELEASE: 10.15.2002


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Bottom-feeding, cross-dressing, sexist so-called comedy 'Sorority Boys' pretends to preach respect

By Rob Blackwelder

In the last act of the misogynistic, hypocritical, completely laughless frat pig flick "Sorority Boys," three guys forced to dress up as girls for the better part of the movie come to realize that women deserve respect.

Apparently that philosophy doesn't extend to the people who made this movie, however, because it's littered with jokes about date-rape drugs and fellatio, scenes of girls in wet T-shirts and scenes of girls taking showers together -- complete with gratuitous close-ups of naked breasts.

Inept rookie director Wally Wolodarsky and bottom-feeder first-time writers Joe Jarvis and Greg Coolidge only condemn the objectification of women as a "Get Out of Jail Free" card after spending most of the picture recycling the tiredest jokes in the campus comedy canon and coupling them with a gag that hasn't been funny since "Some Like It Hot" -- unwilling, ugly, unconvincing drag queens.

The plot focuses on three frat boys who are framed for stealing from their house and sent packing. To prove their innocence, they concoct a plan too idiotic to bother explaining here except to say it includes dressing unconvincingly as girls and joining a feminist sorority populated by gimmicky outcast (a hairy foreign exchange girl, a giant girl, a girl with a freakishly loud and annoying voice) but led by a beautiful blonde brain (you know she's a brain because she wears glasses).

Embraced by the girls of Delta Omicron Gamma (abbreviated D.O.G. -- hardy har har), these "Bosom Buddies" wannabes learn the error of their ways while learning to accessorize and becoming concerned about how big their butts look.

Every single character in this movie is an antiquated stereotype. Every single joke in this movie has been in 20 or 30 bad movies before it. Every performance in this movie is a complete embarrassment -- especially those of our three heroes. Played by Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor on the WB's "Smallville" series), Barry Watson ("7th Heaven") and the insufferable buffoon Harland Williams ("Half-Baked," "Rocket Man"), their idea of acting like women is to cock their heads like curious puppy dogs, bat their eyelashes and giggle in falsetto. When the casting call for this movie went out, it must have read "seeking anyone with acting ambition but no sense of pride or shame."

Aiming as low as possible, "Sorority Boys" expects to get laughs from an hour of blatantly sexist burlesque before backpedaling with the boys' insincere epiphanies that are supposed to cure them of their contemptible chauvinism.

When the movie isn't insulting half the population, it's insulting anyone with half a brain. The only times it detours from its pathetically formulaic storytelling are when the filmmakers need a new, random, patently contrived plot device to get our boys closer to their goal of being reinstated at Kappa Omega Kappa (abbreviated K.O.K. -- Oh! Haha! Stop, you're killin' me!).

They lead the D.O.G. girls to victory in a powder-puff football game against the stuck-up hottie sorority. They chew out their former frat brothers for being sexists. And once exposed, one of them offers a cheap, 30-second apology to the adorable brainy girl (Melissa Sagemiller, "Soul Survivors"), whom he's fallen for while pretending to be her girlfriend. Of course she forgives him, because all any feminist babe really needs to be happy is a lying, conniving frat jerk to whisper sweet nothings in her ear when he's not objectifying her behind her back.

The moral of this story isn't one of respect for women. The moral of this story is that Hollywood studios have no standards whatsoever when it comes to green-lighting inexpensive, gimmick-driven gag flicks they think will appeal to that coveted demographic of people who haven't progressed beyond the mentality of 14-year-old boys.


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