Dave (Barry Watson), Adam (Michael Rosenbaum) and Doofer (Harland Williams) are three chauvinistic members of the K.O.K. fraternity house. Unjustly blamed for the theft of the frat's money, they are forced to hide out in drag at the D.O.G. house, a sorority catering to physically or socially outcast women. The boys get an up close and personal lesson in how the other half lives until Dave falls for Leah (Melissa Sagemiller), the alpha D.O.G.
Review by Richard Kuipers:
Ever been to a preview where the lucky door prizes were showbags filled with sex toys? That's how the Sorority Boys screening kicked off and it couldn't have set the tone any better for another entry in the gross-out campus comedy stakes. The opening scenes are far from encouraging as we're treated to another display of degrading frat-boy antics including dildos being catapulted into the nearby sorority house. Remember, most American political leaders and captains of industry are graduates of these ghastly institutions. Once we meet the beer guzzling sex-crazy boofheads and the gallery of misfits rounded up to represent the feminist alternative on campus it looks like we're in for another tiresome display of animal acts and ritual humiliation but things pick up dramatically once the boys get their frocks on and slowly start to realise what chauvinists they've been all these years. The comedy is as broad as you'd expect and relies on audience goodwill to overlook the fact that only one of these boys even looks remotely like a girl. More than just convincing in wig and make-up, sexy Barry Watson looks so dishy as Daisy it's no wonder feminist sorority leader Leah (Melissa Sagemiller) becomes lesbian-curious once "she" arrives. The switcheroo/double trouble romance requiring quick costume changes on Dave's part even ends up being rather sweet in its own silly way. This is no classic but Sorority Boys is a minor surprise that benefits from a perky young cast who deliver a reasonable quota of chuckles once the bumpy start is out of the way. Thankfully there's no sermonising as the moment of truth approaches but the first produced script by college graduates Joe Jarvis and Greg Coolidge still manages to tuck in a few neat comments about boy-girl relationships along the way. This is just about my least favourite film genre but I'm pleased to report I sat through it without checking my watch and even managed a few big laughs during the gridiron scene. As these things go this mix of Animal House and Some Like It Hot is far from the worst of its type.
Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
A movie only Homer Simpson could love, Sorority Boys is the most shameless, insulting and appalling so-called "comedy" to flow through a projector's lens since, well, Rollerball two weeks ago [in his media preview schedule, that is, Ed]. It tries to pass as an old fashioned T-and-A flick like Porky's, Animal House or American Pie but contains less originality, warmth, wit or even T-and-A than a fleeting shower scene and a wet T-shirt competition. Trading almost criminally on the cross-dressing formulas of Bosom Buddies, Tootsie and, dare I say it, Some Like It Hot, this gutter-trash frat-boy movie simply offers a loosely connected string of gross-out gags and sex jokes aimed at ogling, degrading and insulting women. But the intended laughs, from pulling hair out of a sink to showing a French foreign exchange student how to shave, are stomped out by the boys' size 10 stilettos. And if you think those Greek acronyms make weak jokes, believe me, they are the comic highlights. A glimmer of a minor star might have been enough to check this out, but the best we get is comedian Harland Williams, who specialises in playing low-IQ trailer trash (like in There's Something About Mary), and the very underrated Heather Matarazza (from Welcome to the Doll House), who plays a D.O.G. girl with a grating voice. They should have known better. Perhaps in 20 years Sorority Boys will be worth watching for the nostalgia of such randy college-students movies. But if there's anything to be learnt, it's that college flicks should not be made by those who flunked high school.
Email this article
SORORITY BOYS (M)
CAST: Barry Watson, Harland Williams, Michael Rosenbaum
PRODUCER: Larry Brezner, Walter Hamada
DIRECTOR: Wallace Wolodarsky
SCRIPT: Joe Jarvis, Greg Coolidge
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael D. O'Shea
EDITOR: Richard Halsey
MUSIC: Mark Mothersbaugh
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Edward T. McAvoy
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 28, 2002