I'm really glad this movie was able to find its audience on video, because it deserves recognition. This is a damn good film! The unfortunate thing about a movie like "PCU" is that the "Animal House" comparisons are inevitable. But there's no point in comparing. "PCU" stands on its own two feet. "Animal House" is one take on college fraternities and "PCU" is another. It's like comparing "The Naked Gun" to "In the Heat of the Night," because they're both about cops. The characters and plot in this movie are in no way derivative of "Animal House." Jeremy Piven was a great choice for the lead. I've always been a fan of his, but he always gets stuck with supporting roles. In this case, he proves that he has the confidence to carry a lead role. His laid-back sense of humor makes the jokes all-the-more hilarious. I'm often more appreciative of comic actors who don't try to hammer a joke to death with mugging and wacky inflections. Piven delivers a joke the way it's supposed to be delivered--in a straight fashion. We don't see enough of that nowadays. And I can say the same about most of the actors in the film, with maybe the exception of David Spade. He's the type of actor, who can either be sarcastically funny or sarcastically annoying. He doesn't exactly provide the film's funniest moments, but he plays a moderately small role and doesn't get much of a chance to do any annoying shtick.
In the DVD commentary, Jeremy Piven mentioned that the actors weren't allowed to improvise, and he was very disapproving of director Hart Bochner's choice to follow the script verbatim. Luckily, that didn't exactly hurt the film, since the actors were working with a solid script. The point is the movie doesn't look scripted. Whether or not they actually were, the actors seemed comfortable with the material and delivered every gag with great precision. Besides, when you let actors improvise too much, that can also hurt a film. I liked the "Rush Hour" movies, but at times it's so evident that Chris Tucker was stepping out of character to make the audience laugh that there were parts where I was taken out of the movie. I certainly can't complain too much, because the comic style of "PCU" had a uniqueness to it that really stood out for me. After watching Hart Bochner's extremely broad spoof, "High School High," I wasn't exactly sure he had a knack for directing comedy. But in this case, he proved me wrong. The gags here are nowhere near as broad, and it helps that the actors don't act like they're in a comedy. Plus, there are very few cheap shots. Very few jokes about bodily functions of genitalia. In other words, the humor had a certain intelligence--something I DEFINITELY can't say about most comedies nowadays. This is not one of those comedies aimed at a teen to young adult audience, where you're allowed to have an I.Q. of 10. As you can tell from the memorable quotes section, there are plenty of great lines. "You're gonna wear the T-shirt of the band you're gonna go see? Don't be that guy." By the way, that's the only line Jeremy was allowed to improvise, for all you trivia buffs. The most memorable gag, in my opinion, is the one involving the sign language interpreter, who has to translate phrases like "butt pirate" and "pillow biter." No one can deny that gag was classic.
Another way cool thing about this movie: the gorgeous Megan Ward. I've never seen her look hotter. She has such a gorgeous girl-next-door look that when Chris Young's character got to kiss her, I felt his happiness. There's a great shot of her from behind, where she's wearing low-cut denim shorts. Very nice! So many elements of this movie just click. I loved the soundtrack too. The songs played over the opening and closing credits are both way cool, and plus you're treated to the great sounds of George Clinton during the film. It was an original idea to choose George Clinton, since you'd expect to see a hard rock or heavy metal band in a film of this sort. All in all, go see this overlooked gem of a movie! You won't be disappointed!