I get a lot of shit for my taste in movies...which means little to me in the grand scheme of things. Yet nothing makes me happier than when by either decent blogging or annoying persistence I somehow manage to convince someone to watch a movie that they ordinarily would not think to view. Here is another movie that brings my pop culture cred into question but nevertheless I happen to love....
So this movie is pretty popular with hard-core pop culture geeks but that is about as far as it goes. It happens to be one of the funniest movies that I have ever seen. It never fails to cheer me up. Its plot is based off of the urban legend that you get straight "A"s if your roommate commits suicide. So we have roommates Cooper and Josh who are your classic odd couple, as well as Kyle...who disappears shortly after his first college party and only reappears long enough to whoop some poser ass!
Cooper is brilliantly played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar...who shows that he has in fact left his Bayside days behind. Cooper is the spoiled rich boy slacker whose father threatens to cut him off and make him scrub toilets for the rest of his life if he doesn't pass his classes. Josh is played by cute newcomer (at least at the time) Tom Everett Scott and he is the egghead recluse who starts off with his nose in a book until Cooper shows him the ways of beer and women. By mid semester Josh and Cooper are both failing every class and desperate to find a way to stay in college. Left without any other option, the boys decide to break into the university psych records to find the classmate most likely to commit suicide by the end of the semester.
Enter Cliff O'Malley...who might just be one of my favorite lunatic characters of all time. This out of control frat boy is first introduced to viewers while through water balloons from the roof of his frat while showing everyone his bare ass. He quickly explains to Josh and Cooper that he is looking to leave the frat house because "These fuckers want to kick me out for not respecting quiet hour!" This is followed by Cliff chugging a beer and begging Josh to kick in him in the junk for the rush. The night continues as they take him back to their girlfriend's dorm where he catches their friend Lucy's (played by a young, pre-American Pie Alyson Hannigan) hair on fire while lighting her bong. Being the trooper that he is, Cliff tries to extinguish the flames with his own urine. The guys are kicked out of the girl's room and Cliff tries to take the guys to see Carla...who is his favorite hooker. On the way, Cliff introduces the boys to his favorite game...chicken with a cop. As a result of calling the cop a pig, they take off in a high speed chase that Cliff describes as intense. Then Cliff decides to make it more interesting by shooting a gun at the cop, saying "Man they hate it when you do this!" Unable to stand it anymore, Josh and Cooper bail out of the backseat and roll to safety as Cliff continues down the freeway. Josh and Cooper return to their room defeated, defensive, and cryptically speaking...which prompts dormates to suspect that they are actually gay lovers.
Enter roommate number two...computer nerd Buckley who is convinced that Bill Gates is trying to steal his brain. Cooper goes so far as to volunteer at the suicide hotline in order to push Buckley over the end. Just as Cooper and Josh are about to succeed in their goal, Buckley discovers their roommate research and runs away...warning everyone in ear shot "If you see these guys...kick 'em in the balls."
Enter roommate three Matt...who is a Gothic rocker who is constantly singing about suicide and death. In fact, he goes so far as to tell the guys that he dreams of pulling the trigger. Convinced that they have it made, they continue to party and enjoy the last party of the semester. Much to their surprise, Matt is not Gothic death monger that he pretended to be...rather he is a "show tune singing poser" who is caught by Cooper singing Cabaret in the mirror.
A whole bunch of chaos happens and Josh gives up. He tells Cooper the plan is over and runs off. Cut to scene with Josh standing on the edge of bridge, threatening to jump. Cooper rushes to the scene and talks Josh down. The two embrace (furthering the campus-wide) belief that the two are lovers. Josh ends up getting an extra semester from the university in order to raise his grades as a result of his "attempted suicide" and Cooper's father is so proud of his son for being a hero that he decides to pay for one more semester of college after all.
The characters in this movie are awesome. Had it been other actors in their roles, I doubt that it would have worked so well. Lochlyn Munro played Cliff as no other actor could. He was completely insane and appealing at the same time. Seriously...it might one of those things that you have to see...but he is funny as hell in this flick. Tom Everett Scott was still young and undiscovered enough that he still had that naive sparkle in his eye. Mark-Paul Gosselaar was utterly fantastic in this role. Oh the time I would have wasted crushing on his character had I ever encountered him in real life. He was funny and charming and stole more than just a few hearts in this movie.So rent Dead Man on Campus if you can find and be prepared to laugh.