Monday, February 24, 2014

02/24: National Lampoon's Animal House

Today we lost an important comedic icon who has held their place in making people laugh at the movies the last 40 years. Harold Ramis passed away at age 69 in Chicago today, which shocked just about everyone who didn't know about his life-threatening condition. What's more sad is that most people know him just as 'that guy from Ghostbusters'. Well, he was more than he co-wrote several films such as Caddyshack, Groundhog Day and the one I'm about to review.

I am from the St. Louis area, and it is very cool to share the same city as some famous people who have resided here at some point. Mr. Ramis attended Washington University outside St. Louis. While he was there, he was in a fraternity. Today I drove on Forsyth Blvd in Clayton (a St. L suburb), and according to legend, Ramis was inspired to write Animal House after being part of a fraternity house located on that road. While he made Chicago mostly his home, Ramis was recognized for his short efforts in St. Louis and was awarded a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame (located on Delmar Blvd, also known as the Delmar Loop).

Alright....on with the review! Most of you know this has become an American classic. Set in the innocent-era 60s, this movie made college fraternities more popular than ever. Plus, it made stars of Stephen Furst, Kevin Bacon, and perhaps the most important, John Belushi. And of course, let's not forget Ramis. The whole movie is revolved around the Faber College's most hated, underachieving Greek group, Delta Tau Chi. We do see typical pranks among the other fraternities, but it turns into a brutal war becoming Delta vs. Faber. And of course, we see the girls! Basically, its what every college kid that goes away from home, a life that he dreams of.

Some of my favorite moments in the film: John Belushi ('Bluto') singing 'Louie, Louie'; the horse and the gunshot; the food fight along with 'I'm a zit!', and the 'speech' Bluto gives to his hopeless frat brothers before the parade.

My most favorite types of movies are 'coming-of-age' films, and this definitely belongs in that category. I always find the movie fun and worth watching over and over. However, I have never taken interest in joining a Greek fraternity, as I always had weird thoughts about those groups. This movie, without doubt, earned its share of criticism for being one of those college movies which showed the stereotypes among frat boys. I'd still watch it, no matter how old you are. Or at least until your senior year of high school.

R.I.P. Harold Ramis (1944-2014)

My rating: 8 out of 10

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