National Lampoon's Pledge This! DVD: Review By Brian Gallagher

Kerri Kinney is wonderful here, but, of course, we don't see her as much as we should.
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Kerri Kinney is wonderful here, but, of course, we don't see her as much as we should.
Damn near everything else.
Back in 2002, when a movie called National Lampoon's Van Wilder was released, I thought that National Lampoon was back, after a long hiatus. I loved Van Wilder and thought that this great flick would start a whole new era of National Lampoon. As it turned out, I was wrong. After Wilder, there have been numerous flicks that flew the National Lampoon flag, all of which have failed, most of which never even made it to the theaters. I couldn't find any box office data on Pledge This, so I'm assuming it never went to the theaters either. If you feel the need to brave these somewhat-grueling 91 minutes, you'll see why.

I'll start with the good stuff first, since there isn't that much. Virtually the entire amount of entertainment value this whole flick has to offer comes solely from the brilliant Kerri Kinney, in a huge departure from her character on the hit sitcom Reno 911! She plays a middle-aged housewife, Kathy, who decides to get back at her cheating hubby by going to college and trying to hook up with anyone she possibly can. You might not recognize her from the larger fake (and scary at times) bust, but she's just wonderful here and adds some actual humor in between the contrived bits that are supposed to be comedy. Maria Garces is solid as Gloria and Sarah Carter is pretty good, but underused as Kristen. That's about it, folks.

The whole thing is just a train wreck from the start. The opening credit sequence is Paris Hilton's Victoria English character walking through campus, looking hot, whilst everyone else she passes convulses at her beauty. If you think that's bad, that's not even the half of it. With all we've heard about Paris Hilton in the last few years, and seeing this movie, one has to wonder where the character of Victoria English and the person of Paris Hilton come together. Anyway, after a few random character introductions, we learn that Victoria is the president of this sorority, Gamma Gamma, and they're a finalist for this FHM contest to determine the hottest sorority in the country. They all have money, a glamorous house and they're all crazy hot chicks. The problem with this contest is that FHM wants "diversity" for the hottest sorority, which is why we were shown those random character intros. After a incredibly stupidly ridiculous accident in the dorms, a group of diverse friends find themselves homeless. One of them is Gloria (Paula Garces) who is an ex-friend of one of the newer Gamma's, Kristen (Sarah Carter), and Kristen gets Gloria and her motley crew, including Kinney's Kathy character) to shack up at the Gamma house, to diversify and stuff.

Man that was painful to write. Man was this painful to watch too, with one of the most moronic scripts in the history of moronic scripts by newbies Cheryl Guerriero and Anna Obropta. It's like this weird, incredibly stupid hybrid of Sorority Boys and She's All That. The dialogue is attrocious. The jokes aren't even close to being funny. If it weren't for Kinney's brilliance, I wouldn't have chuckled or even smiled the whole time. Guerriero and Obropta are such amateurs that they felt the need to not only have Paris/Victoria do random voice-overs, but they threw virtually EVERYONE in the mix on the random voice-over tip. It's like we just entered some weird wormhole in the movie and for a few random moments, we got to hear what these characters were thinking. Absolute lunacy.

They add to the first-timer thing by having a total rookie direct this slop-fest in William Heins. He seems to want either too much from his actors or too little. He uses the slo-mo and many other music video techniques without restraint. I'm not sure if that's what he did before this, but I wouldn't doubt it. He also, probably due to the anemic deficiencies of the script, had the tendency to hold any scene with any kind of nudity for much longer than usual. It really felt like they were trying to stretch the runtime as much as they could, which gives me the feeling that this was probably a 70-page script, or something along those lines. I guess I kind of feel bad for the guy, for getting such horrendous material to work with for his first feature film... but it didn't look like he tried too hard to improve it either.

My head hurts just thinking about this movie anymore. Just stay away. Paris doesn't get naked, but a lot of other girls do randomly. But you can get either of those on the Internet anyway, so I'd just stay away.
The only thing we get here is a "Making Of" Featurette and it's almost as bad as the movie itself. This 8-minute featurette features just random shots from the flick, little pseudo-interviews with cast and crew where it looks like they are really just straining themselves to think of something good to say about this. Boring.
Terrible, just terrible... oh, the presentation. The flick is presented in the widescreen format, but I'm not sure of the aspect ratio. Like it matters...
The sou nd is hanlded through the Dolby Digital 5.1 format.
Not much to write home about. The front cover has Paris and two other girls in schoolgirl outfits with their sorority house in the background. It actually says the word "SORORITY" over the house. Wow. The back cover has a terrible synopsis along with a few random shots and the full credits and tech specs. Blah.
If the fact that Paris Hilton is starring didn't scare you off, or the National Lampoon flag didn't scare you off, then don't say I didn't warn you. The only people I can recommend this movie to are men who don't have the Internet and can't see as many gorgeous sets of breasts whenever they want. But you have the Internet because you're reading this, so, again, stay far far away. It's not funny. It's not really that sexy. It's not anything worth actual dollars to spend on. It's just worth a headache.

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