In which we wonder whether the bigger tip-off that this movie will not be good is the originality of the title or the fact that Verne Troyer plays himself.
I still watch reruns of Saved by the Bell, but when I was younger I used to watch a lot of the live action kid/teen shows. I watched the crap on "TNBC" like California Dreams, Hang Time, and City Guys. I'd spend some time with "TGIF": Full House, Family Matters. Even earlier, I would come home from school and watch You Can't Do That on Television, Hey Dude, and maybe a little Kids Incorporated, on Nickelodeon. In time, I got older -- I didn't say matured -- and refined my taste as it pertains to tasteless adult comedies. I'm not referring to Curb Your Enthusiasm adult, I'm talking about things like Animal House, Anchorman, There's Something About Mary, and Superbad. I see the shows that the kids watch nowadays on Nickelodeon like Hannah Montana, That's So Raven, and Drake & Josh, and I've wondered how these kids tastes will move towards the profane. If College, starring Drake Bell from Drake & Josh, is any portent, I'm frightened for kids' intelligence.
There's a high school buddy movie. It deals with a trio of high school losers. One is a totally average guy who seems to be the leader. One is an overweight foul-mouthed gentleman who talks a big game but is horribly insecure. One is a skinny nerd who is the butt of the other two guys' jokes. The three buddies decide that they're going to let loose, get drunk or maybe high, meet loose women, and go somewhere where nobody knows them and they can escape their stereotypical mediocrity. Superbad, right? Shoot, maybe it's even Dazed and Confused. No, this is the plot of College, which came out in 2008. And people thought Superbad, which came out in 2007, was derivative.
And the comparisons end there. The totally average guy is played by the aforementioned Nickelodeon star, who was 22 when the movie was made and looks every day of 28. Even dropping the f-bomb, Bell plays the character with as much Jonas Brothers panache as he can muster. The overweight guy, as opposed to the quick-witted Jonas Hill, is so stupid and unlikeable that they may as well had one of the "O'Doyle Rules!" kids from Billy Madison in the role. The skinny nerd is played by Kevin Covais.
Wait. What? Kevin Covais. Yes, that Kevin Covais.
I could stop there, but why? Because the high school students look like they are in their mid-twenties, the college students have to look like they are approximately 42. There have to be multiple poop jokes, even more binge-drinking jokes, and main female characters that are written with no personality. Remember in Animal House when we saw the Delta guys prepare for the parade stunt at the end? Preparation is a waste of important story time! In College, they show the guys putting together a prank that would take days to prepare in no more than ten minutes. And they don't even wake any of the bad guys up! How cool is that?! And so on and so on with the poop and the vomit and the masturbation jokes and the homophobic jokes and the comic male nudity and the straight-out-of-Penthouse-Forum sex scenes.
Having never seen any of the straight-to-DVD American Pie Presents movies, the worst "adult" college movie I've seen of late is Approved, with Justin Long and Jonah Hill. It had its moments, but it was very stupid. I like it more now. College can't hold Approved's beer-soaked, head-worn jock. College tries to be Superbad, but it only succeeds in being super bad.