By Jessica Sanders
I was ready to laugh (preferably out-loud) when Community College arrived in the mail. CC (Community College) is described as a “love story between four dudes and their ability to get free drinks” which is, in itself, slightly confusing. Is it a love story between four dudes AND a love story between their individual abilities to get free drinks? Or is it a love story between four dudes and, also, they have the ability to get free drinks? Unfortunately, the story within the film was about as confusing and half-baked as the story-synopsis printed on the box.
The thing about base humor, if that is what was intended here, is that it usually takes an arsenal of wit, ingenious timing, superior acting, and superb writing capabilities to pull it off. I was once in college. And I hung out with a lot of dudes while I was there. I was the Girl-Amongst-the-Dudes. And AS the Girl-Amongst-the-Dudes, I heard it all. And a lot of “it” (aka the conversation) was actually pretty funny. Occasionally crass, inappropriate, mind-numbingly repetitive and heart-breakingly misguided, but overall pretty damn funny.
Not one iota of the dialogs within Community College rang true and not a syllable of it rang funny. Now, I watched CC with some dudes. So this isn’t just the rant of an uptight feminist inherently opposed to dude-humor. The dudes I was with never cracked so much as a smile. They both inquired as to the minute-count on the film (multiple times) and one of them actually bailed half-way through. Now, I had cheeses that night. That’s right. Multiple CHEESES on a platter. Gorgonzola, Brie, a little fresh Mozzarella. Some Pita Chips… The dude still left. Now, I understand that taste is objective. I can find humor in pretty much anything. I have a loud, raucous, insanely contagious belly-laugh, and I like to let it roll out whenever possible. I like to spread my joy. I can find humor in anything from Wedding Crashers to old Steve Martin Stand-Up to Shawn of the Dead to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls to Troll 2. I’m what some people refer to as “easily amused”. So when I’m not amused, not even a SMIDGE, you’ve really dropped the ball my friend.
There wasn’t one character in this film that compelled me to develop even the slightest sliver of emotional investment. If an asteroid had struck earth and distinguished every last one of their low-rent, zero-ambition, uneducated, clueless, misogynistic, boring, cliched mugs from my television screen, I would have jumped for joy and then promptly high-fived the one dude remaining on my sofa. Remember the other dude? Yeah. That dude left. More cheese for me.
At it’s core this is a film about four dudes who attempt to salvage their favorite bar from seemingly certain demise. The reason that this particular bar is of such great significance in their lives is that they are able to drink there for free. The movie consists of these four dudes, who are wholly-unlikeable, concocting various schemes to raise money in order to purchase the bar themselves. I so wish I could say “And hilarity ensues” right here, but I can’t. Also, the only females represented in the film are dull, whiny, judgmental and rude. Basically, everyone who steps onto screen is painfully one-dimensional and cliche.
I give the writer props for hatching an idea that could have been pretty sweet. Likely, he was compromised by time and budget constraints, as are many aspiring film-makers. The thing is, I don’t want to be acutely aware of these issues while viewing a film. We’ve all had to put our friends in our films to save money, or because we owed them for some random favor or long-overdue debt, but we also have to remember that there are plenty of people out there willing to act for free at a moment’s notice: They’re called… ACTORS. In the end, the audience is supposed to give a damn that the four dudes are able to purchase the bar and enjoy free drinks for life. But even in today’s culture of celebrated man-boys and endearing under-achievers, Community College still manages to fall flat and, ultimately, fails.