It’s crazy to think it’s been nearly 20 years since Ryan Reynolds was first positioned as a leading man. That it’d take a leaked proof of concept for Deadpool for him to really step into the role in a wildly successful film. In 2002 National Lampoon’s Van Wilder was the first of many attempts at putting Reynolds into a comedy as a leading man.
Simple premise. Van Wilder (Reynolds) is a twenty something loser still in college because he’s still the big man on campus. When his father cuts him off, Van has to figure out how to pay his tuition and graduate while contending with a student reporter (Tara Reid) looking to explore Wilder’s mysterious image and past.
Watching this nearly twenty years after it had a successful run in theaters there’s a sadness to this film. The perspective of Van Wilder the character depends a lot on your age, I think. When you’re in your 20s Wilder seems like an amazing guy. He’s still living the dream, hanging out in college when your perspective on how much fun and awesome college was is still fresh in your minds.
The older you get the sadder Van Wilder seems. He’s refusing to let go of college because going into the real world is scary. Working a job, being responsible for yourself, are scary when you’re in college but the older you get the less scary it really is. Watching a guy in his mid-twenties still chasing after college girls is pathetic in a lot of ways the older you get.
Van Wilder is a comedy that wasn’t funny when it was in theaters and hasn’t aged well since.
The extras from the original DVD are included.
Lionsgate presents National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. Directed by Walt Becker. Written by Brent Goldberg and David T Wagner. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Kal Penn, Tim Matheson. Run Time: 93 minutes. Rated R. Released on:
Tags: National Lampoon, Ryan Reynolds, Van Wilder