Sorority Boys Movie Review

The heavily recycled "war-of-the-Greeks" movie theme, first made popular in the early 1980s, has returned to the screen in an updated form with the cross-gender comedy Sorority Boys. The movie is filled to its bong-brim with the crude, embarrassing humor of its predecessors, however its sole joke fails to leave an impact.

Dave (Barry Watson), Doofer (Harland Williams), and Adam (Michael Rosenbaum) are the only members of the KOK (pronounced cock) fraternity social committee. During one bash, the money the house had saved to sponsor the annual KOKtail Cruise is stolen and the three bumbleheads are accused of pilfering the money. They are banished from the house. They then return for the next night's party to find out who really took the money. To get into the party, though, they need a disguise. What better way to fool their fraternity brothers than to show up at the party as women!? "Daisy," "Roberta," and "Adina" go to the party to find a hidden video camera that recorded the true thief in the act. All they need to do is find the videotape and their innocence will be revealed. If it were only so easy! Instead, they are tossed out of the party during the ceremony known as "dogcatcher" -- usually reserved for getting rid of the unattractive women of the neighboring Delta Omicron Gamma (DOG - clever, huh?) sorority.

Leah (Melissa Sagemiller), the feminist DOG sorority president, feels sorry for the masculine looking girls and offers them a room in her sorority where they can be around other aesthetically challenged co-eds. While living inside the house and plotting their moves to find evidence inside the KOK house, the three men/women get in touch with their "softer side" by dealing with tampons, dildos, makeup and dresses.

Director Wallace Wolodarsky chooses to retell the same jokes over and over, poking fun at the flaws and vulnerabilities of the DOG house women. There are only so many jokes about the degradation of women we can endure in order to get the point of the movie. For example, we see Adina walk down the sidewalk and get harassed by the same frat boys driving by in their car on four different occasions. Enough already; we get it.

Sorority Boys spends too much of its time on this same joke when more time could have been devoted to the comedy of these guys trying to keep their true identities under wraps. Are the girls of the DOG house so naïve that they cannot see their new houseguests are men? Wolodarsky misses many opportunities to capitalize on the guys' attempts to hide their real identities -- no one ever questions who they really are. Even when the three finally shed their feminine exteriors, it is because they choose to come clean, not because someone notices their five o'clock shadow. With the lack of intelligence running rampant at this unnamed college, the joke could have gone on forever.

Watson, Williams and Rosenbaum put up their best effort in high heels, nylons, and short skirts. Early on, the trio does have some genuinely funny moments as they adjust to feminine living. But Sagemiller is completely miscast as the head of the DOG sorority since she is clearly the most attractive woman in the film. And in the end, she betrays the morals and standards she has preached throughout the movie, just so that the movie can have a happy ending.

With more focus and a broader comedic palette, Sorority Boys could have reincarnated the Greek genre for a new decade of college age misfits. Sorority Boys tries to work in the same vein as the brilliance of Animal House but instead comes closer to the failure of the third Revenge of the Nerds sequel.

DVD extras feature the usual making-of documentary plus an odd/unique/somewhat interesting multi-angle feature that lets you see the making of a few scenes from various crewmembers' perspectives. It also really makes you feel sorry for and proud of geek director Wally Wolodarsky, whose Coldblooded hasn't been seen nearly enough and who deserves much better than this. Give your angle button a workout and give Wally some love!

Shin: It's what's for dinner.

Comments

Sorority Boys Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2002

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