Freshman Orientation

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The crazy new world of collegiate sexual-identity politics gets a work over in this mediocre comedy, but the film’s own politics seem a little confused: It thinks it’s saying stereotypes are stupid, yet it’s chock-full of them. Horndog Clay (Huntington) arrives at college ready for all those easy babes he assumes he’ll bag. He’s especially jonesing for Amanda (Doubleday), a gorgeous but sort of nice frosh who’s pledging the uppitiest, blondest sorority in history. When a frat hazing prank leads Amanda to believe Clay is gay, she’s thrilled; her sorority initiation involves her dating and dumping a gay guy. She’s out to deceive him, but (gasp!) he deceives her, too, pretending to be gay to get close to her.

Clay and Amanda are meant to be more than cardboard cutouts, but neither of the leads knows how to play the badly underwritten characters. Most of the others are clichés as old as college comedies: Sokoloff plays an angry lesbian, Matarazzo plays a Jewish-American princess, Johnson plays a rich frat guy, etc. Goodman brings a little brio as the owner of a gay bar who teaches Clay how to act gay, but it’s only interesting because the swish old queen in this case is an actor who seems to embody straight working-class guyhood. The saddest waste of talent is Erwin, as Clay’s closeted gay roommate. Erwin battles heroically against the script, but all he can do is pine and look awkward.

Release details

Rated: R
Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ryan Shiraki
Screenwriter: Ryan Shiraki
Cast: Marla Sokoloff
Mike Erwin
Sam Huntington
Bryce Johnson
John Goodman
Kaitlin Doubleday
Rachel Dratch
Heather Matarazzo