Review: Freshman Orientation

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[Film Review]


Clay Adams (Sam Huntington) is a freshman from Oshkosh, Wisconsin who has just matriculated at a large state university. The hot-to-trot 18 year-old arrived on campus naïvely expecting to party, drink beer and pick up girls.
 
But he soon finds that coeds won’t give him the time of day, since they sense that he’s on the make and only interested in fulfilling his sexual fantasies.

This proves especially frustrating when it comes to Amanda (Kaitlin Doubleday), the sorority girl Clay soon sets his sight on. So, he comes up with a novel way of working his way into her life, namely, making believe he’s gay. The idea is that girls have no qualms about hanging around homosexuals, because they won’t be pressuring them romantically.

Therefore, Clay comes out of the closet and joins the school’s gay support group, thereby gaining Amanda’s confidence. He even starts frequenting the local gay bar downtown, where he takes lessons on looking the part from Rodney (John Goodman), a gender bending bartender.

The problem is that Clay does such a great job posing that Amanda can only see him as a friend. To add insult to injury, he finds himself having to fend off unwanted passes, and turns into something of a campus cause celebre after claiming to be the victim of a gay bashing by frat boys.

So starts the subtly-titled Freshman Orientation, a teensploit turning on a clever twist of the genre’s trademark theme. For while most makeover movies feature a female making herself more attractive, this flick has a male deliberately doing the opposite.

Besides the romance at the center of the story, the film is littered with a smattering of distracting sidebars, with colorful characters played by the likes of SNL alum Rachel Dratch as a “very drunk chick,” Heather Matarazzo as Jessica, a Jew mating with a Muslim, and Ashley Sherman as Bessie, a black bull dyke with a bad attitude.

Occasionally amusing, but otherwise a surprisingly tame tale for all its iconoclastic pretensions.


Good (2 stars). Rated R for sexuality, profanity, female frontal nudity and drug use.
Running time: 92 minutes. Studio: Regent Entertainment


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