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A review of National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002)

National Lampoons Van Wilder movie is a 2002 comedy starring Ryan Reynolds in the lead role. Directed by Walt Becker, the film also features Kal Penn, Tara Reid, Tim Matheson and Daniel Cosgrove. This comedy with distinct teenage appeal runs for a little over an hour and a half. The film is sometimes known as Van Wilder 1 as, although it is a self-contained story, two later productions also carried the Van Wilder name.

The storyline

Overview
Van Wilder is a likable, but no so diligent student who is in his seventh year at college.
Seeing no improvement in his son, the father has lost his patience and is about to cut his funding.
To make matters worse, Tara Reid, playing a female reporter on the student newspaper, is trying to uncover Van's murky past for an article but he interprets her interest as romantic attraction. When her boyfriend, played by Cosgrove, finds out about the situation, he is less than overjoyed.
Being a president of the students union and the leader of a fraternity, Cosgrove is in a good position to make our hero's life uncomfortable.
But his actions are seen as being heavy handed by his girlfriend.
Between them, they come up with some devious plans of their own to inflict torment upon the opinionated Cosgrove. The climatic scenes take place as Van Wilder is on the brink of being expelled and Cosgrove takes his final round of exams and interviews

Van Wilder post production

Music and reviews
Music played an important role in the original film and the Van Wilder soundtrack was released by Artemis records. A minor subplot features Kal Penn as Taj Mahal Badalandabad, Van's personal assistant, and his quest to have sex with an American girl.
This was to form the basis for the sequel that released in 2006 under the title of National Lampoon's The Rise of Taj. Although this film was trounced by critics and audiences alike, Van Wilder 3 was made in 2008 and released as National Lampoon's Van Wilder: Freshman Year.
Final word
Despite the detractors, the first film did achieve a grass roots following and more than a few people are capable of repeating Van Wilder quotes verbatim. The most popular being a reference to a girl called Naomi - "..'that's I moan' backwards".
If that makes you smile, there's every chance you will like the rest of the film.

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