Stealing Harvard

Bomb Rating: 

It's no small feat for a film to get me dreaming about visiting my proctologist, but any Tom Green film is able to do it with ease. That kind of prostrate pain pales in comparison to watching Green try to act, which is really saying something, since my proctologist lost both his arms in 'Nam and is a sadist.

There may yet be some undiscovered context, device or technology that could keep Green from destroying any movie he comes into contact with, but Hollywood hasn't found it yet. One would think that Hollywood might have gotten the message about Green's appeal after "Freddy Got Fingered" made two dollars at the box office and inspired every critic this side of Jeff Craig to consider breaking his pen in half and pouring the ink directly into his eyeballs.

This film almost has somewhere to go before Green comes on the scene as Duff, the best friend of John Plummer (Jason Lee). John finds himself in a bind when a promise he made to his niece to put her through college is called in after she's accepted to Harvard. Seems the poor girl couldn't spell "tarp" in the sixth grade, so John imagined the odds of shelling out a hundred bucks a semester for Moron Community College to be fairly low. Though John has the thirty grand his niece needs, he's committed to buying a house with his fiancé, Elaine (Leslie Mann), and is afraid to explain the situation to her. This dilemma produces a startlingly unfunny series of mishaps involving varying degrees of criminal activity.

I mean, if you had a friend as insane and stupid as Duff, would you allow him to go with you as you robbed a convenience store or broke into a millionaire's mansion? Frankly, Green's ability to drag a film into the toilet is stunning. Literally, the second he comes on screen, you can feel the life being sucked out of the theater as though it had been invaded by millions of West Nile infected mosquitoes. The man has no acting skill at all. He is unable to convey any emotion whatsoever. The only reaction he's capable of giving, no matter the situation, is the blank stare. He also looks like he hasn't eaten since the Clinton Administration.

One also can't watch Tom Green without considering -- even picturing -- his brief, freakish marriage to an apparently roofies-addled Drew Barrymore, whose stock then dropped faster than Enron as result. The only way you could top that on the "unsavory unions" scale would be if the Prince of Wales proposed to Anna Nicole Smith, and no one needs to think about that while sitting in a darkened movie theater.

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