Ten Year Itch

By Gus Bode

Editor’s Note: Ten Year Itch is a weekly column which takes a peek back at an album or film which is at least 10 years old that deserves a second look.

The college movie canon is a large one, and there have been some great college-themed films, such as “Animal House,” “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Old School” – the list could go on for pages. Although those flicks are top-notch, there is one that usually gets left by the wayside when the discussion of college films comes up: “PCU.”

“PCU” came out 14 years ago and tells the tale of a high school senior, Tom, who spends a weekend visiting Port Chester University. In the film, the PCU also stands for Politically Correct University.

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The campus is full of eclectic groups such as the Womynists, the cause-heads, the hippies and those who live in The Pit. Tom gets stuck in The Pit for the weekend. Instead of finding a fraternity the way he had expected it to be, he finds a group of regular people who really just want to have a good time and who want for everyone to get along.

Jeremy Piven plays “Droz” in classic Piven style. He is always sarcastic, very loud and is constantly doing his own thing.

The Pit was once a reputable fraternity on campus, but it has turned into the usual group of hard-drinking-and-playing-hockey-in-the-house college students. The Pit members’ penchant for causing chaos throughout the rest of the campus groups has caused a movement (spearheaded by that weasel David Spade) to get the group of outsiders thrown off campus.

So many fines have been levied against The Pit as a result of the movement it is unlikely they will be able to remain at PCU.

Through a series of misadventures (happening to Jon Favreau), George Clinton is brought to the house to stage a party to save The Pit. I won’t divulge much more, but the usual happy ending follows.

While the story may be a bit formulaic, its point is that college is not a great youthful experience, but more a quest to attach oneself to a cause. It is no problem to get behind a cause, but it is better to actually believe in what you are standing up for. The characters in this film are just protesting to protest.

With a knockout script and several days’ worth of quotable one-liners, “PCU” demands to be your next pick at Family Video or moved up to the top slot on a Netflix queue.

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As far as the status of cult films go, this one belongs toward the top for its overabundance of laughs and the opportunity to see Jeremy Piven with an actual hairline.

Luke McCormick can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 275 or [email protected]

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