Sony // 1996 // 100 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // July 18th, 2003
Minutes before becoming big name stars, they appeared in this film.
I have very fond memories of my four years of undergraduate life at Miami University -- that's the one in Ohio, founded in 1809, 116 years before that other place -- and I would honestly give anything to have the chance to relive those glorious years. Look at what college gives you: freedom to finally be an adult, limited responsibility, lots of fun activities, an intellectually stimulating environment, and ample opportunities to make many new friends. For me, that cliché is so true: they are the best years of your life. Believing that itself, Hollywood has visited college life in movies beyond count. There are some true classics, such as Animal House, and innumerable duds, like Dead Man on Campus. Glory Daze falls so solidly into the latter category that I have no qualms in saying that this is the worst college/coming-of-age film I have ever seen and probably the worst one ever made.
It's just a few days before graduation at U.U. (Unknown University) for Jack (Ben Affleck, Daredevil, Dogma, Pearl Harbor) and his roommates, Rob (Sam Rockwell, Charlie's Angels, Galaxy Quest), Dennis (French Stewart, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Clockstoppers), Slosh, and Mickey. Slowly, it is dawning on Jack that he's about to venture out into the real world and he's not ready. As the minutes dwindle down, Jack realizes that he doesn't want to take that giant step into the next phase of his life. College life is great, so maybe he needs to stick around for another year. Besides, what exactly is he going to do since he majored in art? He's afraid to move on and can't admit that.
Each of his roomies has a different perspective on college life. Rob has done pretty well at U.U. and is happily involved with his girlfriend, Joanie (Megan Ward, Joe's Apartment, The Brady Bunch Movie). Dennis, who's changed majors more often than he's changed clothes, is practically a professional student due to his longevity and isn't in a big rush to move on either. Slosh, the remarkably intelligent and shy one, has been pegged as an alcoholic by his friends. And then there's Mickey, wandering around in a haze, failing to appreciate his close friend Chelsea (Alyssa Milano, Who's the Boss?, Charmed, Poison Ivy II), who would very much like to take their friendship to the next level.
But Jack is the clear leader of this bunch, and his reticence to move on is spreading throughout the house. Why not stay another year to unwind and acclimate to the real world -- take a little time and sort through things before officially becoming an adult? Even though he has an opportunity out in Los Angeles with Joanie, Rob is willing to stay and go with the group. Dennis, who's been offered a position as an assistant to his professor (John Rhys-Davies, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings), might turn it down to be with his friends. Slosh, who actually has another year to go, was ready to move into a new house, but he'll stay too. And Mickey? Well, he's still lost in a fog, but it looks like he'll join the mambo line as well.
Struggling with the hassles of graduation -- getting robes, final projects, the parental units -- is causing Jack to shrivel. What is he going to do? Is it really the best move to stay at U.U.? Should he fight his fear and sally forth into the real world? Will his roomies give up possible avenues of opportunity to stay with Jack?
Lord, I hated this movie. Jack is perhaps the wimpiest, whiniest, most self-centered, loathsome, insufferable, boring, fake, aimless cretin to ever be written into this type of film. As portrayed by B-Lo, Jack thinks he's a B.M.O.C. but is in actuality the biggest loser around. After wasting four years in school, barely inching his way out with an art degree, Jack just can't give up the easy life and be a man. "I'm afraid. I'm not ready. I need more time." Pathetic! I couldn't care less about your so-called plight. Why? Because this is a comedy and as dismal as your existence is, Jack, I really didn't find it funny. While forcing myself to watch this vile tale, I didn't find your antics humorous. Instead, I found you appallingly lazy and conceited. That's not funny. I wanted to smack some common sense into your head in hopes you'd snap out of that rotten little fugue you were in. Wake up and move on!
Wearing a ridiculous variation on a goatee, sporting a reverse mullet, and having inked a barbwire tattoo on his pencil-thin bicep, Jack is also the worst interpretation of a college student. In an attempt to make Jack hip and cool, Glory Daze fails miserably and instead creates the ultimate anti-cool character in cinema. You will never stumble across another leading character who is so immediately distasteful that wasn't meant to come across that way. Our hero, our man, our leader, Jack, couldn't generate half a watt of personality.
Trying to talk intelligently, saying things like "Waterloo of love," the characters do not come across as informed or enlightened; instead, the film clearly smells of extreme effort in trying to force hip-ness onto these people. Every attempt at using cool, in-vogue lingo is a complete flop. In fact, everything in this film that purports to show this disgruntled group of men as stylin' college kids is obviously a ploy -- how about the beer can wall?
You would have figured that after all this time, when a film comes along and tries to take both a serious and funny look at college graduation it would have learned from its numerous predecessors. You might figure that Hollywood would know how to create a realistic environment populated with relatable characters. You would be wrong. Not even the deliciously appealing Alyssa Milano manages a modicum of interest...well, except for the three point five seconds she's flaunting her ripped midriff. But, really, these people are so thoroughly unappealing, ridiculous, trite, clichéd characters that this film has absolutely no chance of succeeding.
The only saving grace for this worthless disc is that it's bare bones. One hundred minutes of hell, and that's all she wrote...unless you count trailers for Adaptation, Punch Drunk Love, and Stealing Harvard anything to get excited about. The transfers for this decidedly C-grade movie are nothing spectacular, each being adequate for the type of lowly movie that it is. On the video front, you can choose either an anamorphic widescreen or full screen presentation. The video is a bit soft with reduced sharpness that is at times slightly washed out, and there's some random aliasing, shimmering, and edge enhancement to pass the time. The colors are moderately well presented, though the blacks are also a touch on the soft side. Your 2.0 Dolby Digital audio track is lacking range, and the dialogue is hollow with an odd "tunnel-like" echo at times. Though, if you can tolerate the drivel that makes up the movie itself, you shouldn't have any qualms with the transfers.
A simple yet realistic look at a pivotal moment in a young person's life. What kind of stress does someone on the edge of graduation feel? To whom do they turn to share their feelings? How does a young man, closed and hardened after a recent traumatic breakup, come to terms with the fear that is building inside him? Glory Daze is a refreshing change of pace from all of the slapstick silly college comedies that we're constantly subjected to. Here instead, we get a chance to witness a more lifelike sliver when best friends come together to pave the way for the passage into the real world. Filled with a litany of great actors, this is one movie that will become near and dear to you for many years to come.
What is most absurd with this pile of waste that they call a movie is the fact that there are so many "big" stars in it. As I mentioned, mere seconds before they hit it big, there's a veritable cornucopia of talent here. In addition to all the names listed above, would you also believe that Matthew McConaughey, Brendan Frasier, and Matt Damon make appearances? How were all these people coerced into giving their time for this wretched film? Maybe it was hypnotism. That seems like the only logical explanation for their actions. Yet, even with such a wealth of talent, though some of it is overrated, this movie sucks. It has nothing going for it at all. For the entire presentation, I was in agony, waiting for the eternity of each second to pass. Whatever you do, do not rent, buy, or even think about this film. It could be the worst mistake of your life and perhaps ruin your fond college memories -- be they from film or real life.
Glory Daze is found guilty on all counts. For its multitude of crimes against comedy, college, and humanity at large, I hereby sentence this film to death by electrocution. May god have mercy on your soul, though he showed me none by letting me watch this crap.
Review content copyright © 2003 Eric Profancik; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Miscellaneous Trailers