Sorority Boys

Barry Watson, Michael Rosenbaum.
Directed by Wally Wolodrasky.
Running Time: 94 mins
Rated: M
The 'frat' film is a mainstay in the US film industry. They have entirely predictable stories about goings on of the residents in the fraternity houses which congregate around some American Universities. The plot hangs on sex, drugs, drinking, parties, bodily functions and most things distasteful. They are released in Australia around holiday time to catch the youth market.
Dave (Watson), Adam (Rosenbaum) and Doofner (Harland Williams) are the grossest residents in the grossest Fraternity House on campus. Falsely accused of embezzling the Frat House's funds, they are driven out of the place. Faced with homelessness they resort to getting dressed up in women's clothes and moving into Delta Omicron Gamma, a female fraternity which despises the male fraternities. The boys pass most of the drag tests until Dave falls in love with the arch-feminist and fraternity queen Leah (Melissa Sagemillar). To declare his love means eviction for all of the boys and loosing Leah forever. What a dilemma!

I felt old watching this film. I didn't find one sight gag, one line or even an idea remotely 'hilarious' or 'side splitting'. But that's what the film's promotional material promised me. The only comfort I took was when I looked around at the largely invited teenage audience in the theatre and realised that no one else was finding this tedium all that funny either. Except for John Belushi's 1978 hit, Animal House, most of these films don't translate to non-American cultures and this film is about the worst one imaginable in the sub-genre.

What does translate is the appalling misogynism in which a film like this trades. Apart from Leah's frat being titled DOG, the boy's drag show highlights a breathtakingly sexist portrayal of what men and women think about each other.

There is something in this rubbish to offend just about everyone and so it leads the field as the worst film so far released into the Australian cinemas.

Richard Leonard SJ

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