A spoof of "political correctness" on campus, PCU is a sanitized rip-off of NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE that's neither smart enough to qualify as satire nor offensive enough to entertain.
Prospective freshman Tom Lawrence (Chris Young) arrives at prestigious Port Chester University eager for a taste of his future. He expects to find bonfires and pep rallies, but instead the campus is awash with protesting activist groups. Lawrence's weekend buddy, "Droz" Andrews (Jeremy Piven),
explains that the PCU student body is divided into factions, each devoted to a politically correct cause, all unable to have fun. Andrews heads a small group of misfits that live in a run-down fraternity house called "the Pit," and whose idea of fun is throwing hamburgers at anti-meat protesters.
That afternoon, PCU President Garcia-Thompson (Jessica Walter) presents the Pit crew with a damage bill for $7000; they must pay up within 24 hours or forfeit their house. Andrews convinces his friends that the solution to their problem is to throw a big party and charge admission. He instructs
them to round up a loud band, a lot of beer, and paying guests. Andrews abandons his young charge to pursue his ex-girlfriend, Sam (Sarah Trigger), who has joined the "womynists"--the radical feminist group. While Lawrence wanders the campus, he accidentally manages to incur the wrath of every
clique, and is chased around endlessly.
That night, thanks to an absurd stroke of good fortune, George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars arrive at the Pit. Andrews steals a full bar from Garcia-Thompson, and Lawrence leads his pursuers to the party. The Pit-sters get the $7000, but Garcia-Thompson announces she will expel them for
offending campus sensitivity levels. She plans to turn the house over to the ultra-conservative Ball and Shaft society, led by priggish Rand McPherson (David Spade). The next day, the gang disrupts the PCU bicentennial celebration. Andrews convinces the assembled students that their endless
protesting both blinds them to real enemies like McPherson, and keeps them from enjoying parties. The students rise up in support of the Pit-niks. In the end, Garcia-Thompson is fired, the Pit is saved, Sam and Droz reconcile, McPherson is chased off campus, and Lawrence announces he will return
in the fall.
Blame writers Adam Leff and Zak Penn for attempting to take on political correctness "correctly," and giving director Hart Bochner and the cast so little to work with. A good lampoon requires reckless abandon. Unfortunately, PCU tries to be a friendly, equal opportunity offender. So its fresh
targets--a broadly caricatured array of trendy left activists--all get tweaked, but its harpoon is saved for the same old conservative villain. PCU lifts plot, situations and characters from ANIMAL HOUSE--which, with its low humor, sex, misogyny, and mindless destruction, is perhaps the ultimate
anti-PC movie--but divests them of their irreverence and energy. Unfortunately, PCU, though intermittently amusing, doesn't have the courage of its own lowbrow convictions. (Profanity)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: A spoof of "political correctness" on campus, PCU is a sanitized rip-off of NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE that's neither smart enough to qualify as satire nor offensive enough to entertain. Prospective freshman Tom Lawrence (Chris Young) arrives at pr… (more)