Sorority Boys (2002) — Probably not the best path to correcting sexism

“Hey! You’re eating my bosom!”

Lissa’s rating: Hmmm… how did I miss using the word “stupid” in this review?

Lissa’s review: It’s payback time.

Last night, my poor husband (who, I may remind you, made me watch Surviving the Game), discovered one of the downsides of me being a Mutant: I get to inflict bad movies too. And after last night’s double header of American Wedding (mutual decision) and Sorority Boys (me saying, “We’ve fallen this far, why not?”), I have lost all complaining rights about bad movies for now. We’re even.

I will say this for Sorority Boys: I winced less and laughed more than I did watching American Wedding. However, that’s not really saying a whole lot.

Advertised as “one of the funniest comedies of 2002,” Sorority Boys is about three guys who get kicked out of their fraternity, Kappa Omega Kappa. Yeah, when one of the first shots in the movie is a sign reading KOK, you know you’re watching a class production. The beginning reminded me of a bad version of Animal House. You have Adam the womanizer (Michael Rosenbaum), Dave the smart slacker (Barry Watson), and Doofer the doofus (Harland Williams). You have some unjust punishment inflicted by a total moron that is improbably in power, in this case the fraternity president Spence (Brad Beyer), who looks like Jon Cryer on a truly hideous hair day.

And you have the same zany scheme to get back into the party lifestyle and back into the fold. In this case, it’s cross-dressing.

In an effort to get evidence that they were unfairly booted, the boys dress in drag and eventually end up pledging as sisters at Delta Omega Gamma (wow, they’re subtle), the place where the “unattractive” girls and feminists live. (Incidentally, these girls are only unattractive in movie-land. In the real world, they’ve probably got several guys fawning over them.) Unlike Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo, these three guys do NOT make passable women. (And there is no WAY that Adam is a freaking size 8, like he claims.) But through their disguise and their sudden exposure to the DOGs in PJs, they come to understand that girls don’t have cooties and are really people too.

It’s bad. Come on, you knew that the moment the trailer flashed on the movie screen or the second you looked at the movie box. Pukesome. The plot is convoluted and appears to be written by, well, frat boys with short attention spans, the guys make the obligatory “girls are people too” revelation in ONE night, and acting? Ha! But where else are you going to find a scene with two guys in drag kung fu fighting with dildos? For that scene alone, Sorority Boys is worth the rent.

Yes folks, Sorority Boys almost goes beyond “it’s bad” and into the “it’s so bad it’s funny” realm, finally giving the guys their own version of Crossroads. Well, most of the time it’s funny. But every once in a while it’s annoying, because in some convoluted way, Sorority Boys could have been… well, no. Not good. But maybe not so bad.

Dave/Daisy is extremely dull, as he/she gets caught up in the obligatory love plot (gag), and Robert/Roberta has some of the funniest lines in the movie, hands down. (Kind of like saying McDonald’s is healthier than Burger King, but what do you want?) But Adam/Adina suddenly gets to explore real issues about being a woman. I’m not talking about waxing or wearing pantyhose or the trials of makeup, but having jerks shout at you from a car, the double-edged sword of sexuality, and date rape. These elements actually — oh geeze, I can’t believe I’m saying this — rang true. Sort of. At least they weren’t the clichés normally found in these movies. But it was frustrating, because darn it, if a movie’s going to be bad, it should be all bad. (And besides, the treatment of these doesn’t really belong in a movie like this.)

If you live near a Mike’s and can rent Sorority Boys for 88 cents, or find it on free TV, it’s got its moments. If you’re hosting a “so bad it’s funny” movie night, this should be on your agenda. And if you thought Animal House was way too classy and literate, go out and buy Sorority Boys right now. Your only complaint will be the lack of nudity.

Didja notice?

  • Kung fu fighting with dildos. Quite deadly.
  • That there is no way these guys are the sizes they say they are? (Um, clothing sizes.)

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