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An exceptional fraternity-related film has been a long time coming, but we’re never short on attempts. Last year it was Neighbors, but even that didn’t crack my top 5 fraternity movies. It was entertaining and I enjoyed the take on hazing pledges, but it was too try-hardy. And attempting to make Dave Franco and Zac Effron look like guys you’d want to hang out with was a lost cause from the start. Basically, it was a frat movie for chicks.
What we need is a modernized Animal House with real men and scenarios that are over-the-top, yet believable, that focuses on the fraternity brothers themselves and not an outside party having to deal with them. Bonus points if it makes a statement about the negative and unfair stigmas surrounding fraternities.
Hopefully, this year’s hack at Greek life on the big screen will be just what we’ve been waiting for. But I doubt it will.
Frat Pack – I bet I already lost most of you with that title – centers around a shy British bachelor whose mother is set to marry into a big, loud American family. His soon-to-be stepbrothers take him on a road trip to a fraternity party, hoping to coax the timid lad out of his shell.
Tommy Davidson has been set in Richard Reid’s indie comedy Frat Pack, described as “Road Trip meets Bridesmaids meets Project X with a little American Pie thrown in. Davidson, the comedian who was probably best known for his Sammy Davis, Jr. and Michael Jackson impressions on the iconic variety show In Living Color (which also introduced a wide berth of fans to the comedy of Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx … hey guys, how about a reunion show?), will play an overly protective father with a hair-trigger temper in the story that centers on a shy British bachelor who is dragged on a wild road trip to a frat party.
I’m all about the combination of Bridesmaids and Roadtrip and Project X with a little American Pie thrown in, but what concerns me is the hype surrounding the overprotective father this far from the premiere. I hope Frat Pack doesn’t focus too much on the middle-aged man rediscovering his youth during a wild night in a frat house. That works if the middle-aged dudes form their own middle-aged frat (like Old School), but if they try to inject that stressed out father into the college life, it doesn’t work as well (see Seth Rogen in Neighbors).
It’s also worth noting that this is an indie film. Don’t freak out. Indie films are very different than indie people. It’s not like this is a sure sign the entire movie will be filmed in Sepia and set to a Modest Mouse soundtrack. If anything, it’s a good sign. The Hollywood big wigs had their shot at making a great fraternity movie and failed. Let’s see what the little guys can do.
Frat Pack just finished filming and is slated for release later this year. Here’s to hoping it won’t be an absolute dumpster fire..
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