PCU (1994) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for language, drug use, and sexual innuendo
Running Time: 79 min.
Cast: Jeremy Piven, Chris Young, David Spade, Jon Favreau, Sarah Trigger, Jessica Walter, Megan Ward, Gale Mayron, Becky Thyre, Jake Busey, George Clinton
Director: Hart Bochner
Screenplay: Adam Leff, Zak Penn
Review published April 18, 2004
As a five minute skit on a television comedy show, PCU could have been a scathingly funny take on the increasing abundance of political correctness that has been permeating college campuses across the country. As an 80-minute movie, it's about five minutes of clever moments and seventy-five minutes of juiceless filler. Screenwriters Leff and Penn, who also penned the Schwarzenegger misfire, The Last Action Hero, attempt to craft an Animal House for today's generation, succeeding only in recreating the party atmosphere but not the inspiration.
The plot involves pre-frosh visiting Port Chester University, aka PCU (the local boys have dubbed it Politically Correct University), ends up being shown around by the campus party animal, Droz (Piven, Old School), who promptly exposes the young man to how ridiculously cliquish the university has become. Everyone is part of a social group, except for Droz and The Pit, who eschew the trappings of political correctness for some good, old-fashioned partying. The Dean of the university acts in cahoots with the president of the preppies to see Droz and crew evicted from campus, but one big party could save their home, if only they can get nearly everyone on campus to show up and pay.
Like many college comedies, PCU has a cult following among those who were of college age at the time of its release, but offers little to appeal to those searching for a well-written, witty comedy. The plot is literally non-existent for most of the running length, leaving long sequences for side antics like watching Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made) get stoned, or in seeing George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars jam a few funk tunes. Most of the cast seems to old for their parts, but not nearly as old as the stereotypical humor. Port Chester or "Politically Correct" -- PCU would be appropriately dubbed "Patently Crappy Undertaking".
©2004 Vince Leo