Glory Daze (1995) — Batman in his awkward college phase

“Ever wonder whatever happens to the pampered rich kids the liberal arts colleges turn out year after year?”

Justin’s rating: College was great, but you got to leave sometime

Justin’s review: Boy, if Joe thought Ben Affleck’s facial hair was bad in Chasing Amy, then the man’s combination poodle hair and artists’ goatee is really going to come as a shock when you see the generally lame enterprise that is Glory Daze.

Many people drum into your head that your college years are the best of your life. Henceforth, it only makes sense to say that when they come to a close, when friends move on, when the real world (NOT the MTV version) takes over… it gets a bit sad and dumpy. To combat this, the grads in Glory Daze grab on to that time in their life and refuse to let it go. So what would happen if you simply decided to not leave college after graduating? Apparently, you’d lose the ability to write the name of this movie in a coherent fashion.

Our group of meandering Gen X’ers is led by Jack (Ben Affleck), a failing art student who serves as both the narrator and hopeless romantic. His best buddies include “whipped dog” Rob (Sam Rockwell), bizarre photographer/father figure Dennis (French Stewart), computer major/raging drunk Slosh (Vien Hong), and clueless cartoonist Mickey (Vinnie DeRamus). Keep your eye out for some bizarre little cameos by Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Leah Ramini, Brendon Fraser, John Rhys-Davies, Alyssa Milano, Megan Ward, and other people trying to hang on to those bright burning years.

The movie follows this bunch of frat boys through their final days at college, at which point Jack strikes on the awesome idea of simply sticking around instead of moving on with life. So our noble souls do their best to cling to the quickly fading past. They throw a major party. They restart their band. They spout a lot of clever little phrases as only college grads have the wisdom to do. They don’t go to classes though… do you ever notice how few college movies show their characters in classes? In any case, all of them quickly realize that no matter how much they rage, rage against the dying of the light, that light’s going out and they need to get a job or something.

There’s a weird connection between Glory Daze and another mid-1990s movie, Airheads. Both had the same director, a group of leads in a band together, and some of the same characters and dialogue. But if you love Airheads, don’t come to Glory Daze expecting quite the same. It’s like they’re siblings who grew up in the same house but currently live very, very far apart form each other.

Glory Daze is depressing in the angsty Gen X tradition of Reality Bites and Sleep With Me, yet it also has a great sense of humor and cheek that really makes this a grown-up version of that final scene in Animal House. So for those looking back on their college years with wistfulness, don’t cry… just laugh one more time.

Didja notice?

  • How to get free pizza
  • Fish slapping!
  • Elvis is dead
  • He’s the worst art major ever

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