Van Wilder: The Beginning
Having graduated from high school, Van Wilder (Jonathan Bennett) would rather go and work for his father but is told he must so to Coolidge College as all Wilders have done. Quickly making himself at home at Coolidge with pothead roommate Farley (Nestor Aaron Absera) and Asian student Yu Dum Fuk (Jerry Shea) he is soon up to his pranks and flirting when he meets Kaitlin Hayes (Kristin Cavallari). But flirting with Kaitlin brings the wrath of her ROTC boyfriend Dirk (Steve Talley) who along with Dean Reardon (Kurt Fuller) want Van Wilder out of Coolidge.
If you were to rank all the "Van Wilder" movies "Van Wilder: Freshman Year" would come in second place behind "Van Wilder: Party Liaison" but ahead of "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj". And that is a surprise as I honestly expected "Van Wilder: Freshman Year" to be terrible yet it frequently made me laugh with some creative humour rather than just dumb, juvenile sex jokes. Oh don't get me wrong as it still isn't great and frequently uses the same humour which has been the fuel of better teen movies but it is watchable.
Now "Van Wilder: Freshman Year" doesn't have a great deal of story but is that really much of a surprise as we watch the early years of Van Wilder as he shows up to Coolidge and basically makes it his own. In typical college movie fashion he has those who try to make his life a misery which is this case is not only the Dean but Dirk, the boyfriend of the girl he flirts with. Yes it has all been done before yet it is enough to at least drive all the sexy comedy on.
What surprised me was the effectiveness of Jonathan Bennett as whilst he is no Ryan Reynolds you can sort of take him as an early version of Van Wilder who whilst full of tricks, charm and self belief still had some to learn. It also helps that Steve Talley shows up in a supporting role as whilst for once not playing the slacker he certainly knows his way around a teen sex comedy and what is required of him.
Now of course you have the humour and by humour I am tossing in nudity because in truth the reason you would watch "Van Wilder: Freshman Year" is purely for the boobs and gags. Well whilst it features a sprinkling of nudity it doesn't resort to what other movies do which tosses boobs in just for the sake of it in a desperate attempt to entertain. It also features some clever comedy or at least comedy which has been thought about from Van Wilder delivering a sex education class to a memorably vibrator scene although the shrimp scene may put you off of seafood for a while. Yes more jokes fail than hit home but the ones which do work stand out as being thought about.
What this all boils down to is that "Van Wilder: Freshman Year" was better than I expected and whilst not as good as the original "Van Wilder: Party Liaison" is better than "The Rise of Taj" and a lot of teen sex comedies which are direct to DVD.