Sunday, March 19, 2017

Movie Review: Harvard Man a.k.a Harvard Story

Harvard Man  a.k.a Harvard Story
Bigel / Mailer Films, Kushner-Locke Company, Lions Gate Films, Worldwide Media, USA, 2001.

Harvard-student Alan Jensen (Adrian Grenier) is a rising basketball star and smart student although you wouldn't believe it from his actions. Girlfriend Cindy Bandolini's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) dad (Gianni Russo) is a mafia boss. Tornado destroys Alan's parents' home and causes economical distress so Alan has to find some money fast. 
Adrian Grenier
Alan Jensen
Joey Lauren Adams
Chesney Cort
Alan has also an affair with philosophy professor Chesney Cort (Joey Lauren Adams). As a hobby Alan tries to expand his consciousness with drugs (you can say goodbye to NBA career, bro). Chesney suggest that Alan should borrow money from Cindy. Andrew Bandolini is into sports betting so he'll give the money if Alan agrees to illegal match fixing. Cindy tries to take advantage of the scheme and bets $250000. So the stakes are high and hitmen will act if Alan goofs up.
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Gianni Russo
The Bandolinis
Ray Allen
Before the crucial match Alan gets high (seriously what is the obsession of American's with weed? You are raising a nation of Cheech & Chongs). Harvard team loses the match as Alan agreed with Bandolinis. Player friend Marcus (NBA-star Ray Allen) doesn't take the loss lightly but their small quarrel does not really have consequences. Also kinky FBI-agents are investigating match fixing. So when going gets tough Alan gets a high dose of LSD. Chesney warns that he'll lose his mind, but does he listen, oh no. Even chemist Sandy (Chantal Cousineau) who made him the drugs warns about taking too much of it. And so he spends the rest of the story tripping, while others try to figure out how to clean up the mess. 
Chantal Cousineau
Eric Stoltz as Teddy
 Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rebecca Gayheart
Cindy and Kelly negotiating
Frankly I got this movie because there was Sarah Michelle Gellar on the cover but I was surprised that there were also some other familiar faces in the cast: Eric Stoltz as Teddy the Bookie, Rebecca Gayheart as FBI agent Kelly and John Neville as Dr. Reese. Their presence does not help much though as nearly all the characters are unlikable. The story has the characteristics of university themed erotic crime thrillers of 1990s-early 2000s with poor man's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" thrown in the mix. This is the kind of film that makes one appreciate "Wild Things" and "Cruel Intentions." The story tries to be smarter than it is with classical music and philosophy. Jerky cinematography feels disorienting and camera rotates like mad. This one earns an artistic facepalm.
Rating: Bad

Starring: Adrian Grenier, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey Lauren Adams, Eric Stoltz, Rebecca Gayheart, Gianni Russo, Ray Allen, Mike Vetere, Scottie, John Neville, Polly Shannon, Phillip Jarrett, Adam Bloch, Lauren Collis, Landy Cannon, Clé Bennett, Chantal Cousineau, Maria Ricossa, Booth Savage, Mung-Ling Tsui, Brendan Ryder, Kelly Ryder, Kristi Angus, Tara Samuel, Ayanna Sealey, Jamie Holmes, Al Franken, Thomasin Franken, Peter Mensah, Joe Pingue, J. Miles Dale, Nick Bacon, Kate Crowley,  Kimberly Pullis, Brian Schulz, Chris Wolfe, Lyssa J. Caster, Rick Ducommun, David Lauren, Nicholas Marino, Manajhjanihe Royalle, Michael Sercerchi, Emily Van Sonnenberg, Kasia Vassos
Director: James Toback


  1. I keep meaning to see this because Sarah Michelle Gellar is in it. Sounds like I'm not missing anything.

    1. Yeah, not one of the highlights of her movie career.

  2. On kyllä aika unohdettava elokuva. Itse asiassa muistin nähneeni elokuvan jossa esiintyvä Adrian Grenier, Sarah Michelle Gellar ja Joey Lauren Adams, mutta edes luettuani arvostelusi en tunnistanut sitä samaksi jonka olin katsonut. Mutta olihan siitä kirjoittanutkin ja näköjään se oli tehnytkin jonkinlaisen vaikutuksen, sillä aniharvoin sorrun yhtä vihamieliseen tulokseen kuin sen kohdalla.

    1. Ha! Joskus näin käy. Ihan hyvä jos tämän elokuvan voi unohtaa niin ei jää harmittamaan.


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