Three men relive their carefree college years by killing off as many brain cells as possible in this over-the-top comedy. Mitch (Luke Wilson) returns home from a less-than-pleasant business trip one evening to discover his wife, Heidi (Juliette Lewis), involved in a ménage à trois with two blindfolded strangers. Feeling less than welcome at home after this, Mitch rents a house near the campus of a nearby college; two of Mitch's old college buddies, Beanie (Vince Vaughn) and Frank (Will Ferrell), stop by to cheer him up. They soon become regular guests at Mitch's place, despite the fact that Frank only recently wed Marissa (Perrey Reeves), while Beanie and his wife, Lara (Leah Remini), are busy with two kids. Beanie decides to throw a housewarming party for Mitch, and since Beanie sells audio equipment for a living, he's able to trick out the big bash with a massive PA system and an appearance by Snoop Dogg. Mitch soon finds he's the not-entirely-willing proprietor of the school's leading party spot, which raises the ire of Pritchard (Jeremy Piven), a dean at the college who was the target of Mitch, Frank, and Beanie's abuse when they were all students. Pritchard arranges to have Mitch's neighborhood zoned into a student housing district, but Beanie and Frank respond by forming a fraternity and making Mitch's home their headquarters. Mitch, however, is not enthusiastic about the idea, especially as he's trying to impress Nicole (Ellen Pompeo), a beautiful divorcee who is less than enchanted with Frank and Beanie's "party hearty" lifestyle. Old School director Todd Phillips knows more than a bit about the seamy side of fraternity life as director of the infamous unreleased documentary Frat House.
When three thirtysomething friends with woman troubles (Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Vince Vaughn) decide to form a fraternity, it's supposedly to save Wilson from losing his house, which the nearby college is trying to claim for academic purposes. But really, Ferrell and Vaughn are desperate to return to the reckless, feckless days of beer bongs and hot chicks, and they drag Wilson along with them as they throw themselves into gathering frat pledges of all ages. Old School could have been just another string of bad jokes hanging on a flimsy plot, but the script and the cast have a jovial energy and just enough grounding in reality--at least, up until the obligatory beat-the-system ending, but by that point you'll forgive the excesses of this silly, cheerful, and frequently funny movie. Featuring Jeremy Piven and Juliette Lewis, with cameos by Snoop Dog, Andy Dick, and others. --Bret Fetzer