Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Hart Bochner|
|Produced by||Paul Schiff|
|Written by||Adam Leff
|Music by||Steve Vai|
|Editing by||Nicholas C. Smith|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release dates||April 29, 1994|
|Running time||79 min.|
|Box office||$4,330,020 (box office)|
PCU is a 1994 comedy film. The film depicts college life at the fictional Port Chester University, and represents "an exaggerated view of contemporary college life...." The film is based on the experiences of writers Adam Leff and Zak Penn at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
The story involves preppy pre-freshman (pre-frosh) Tom Lawrence (Chris Young) who visits Port Chester University, a college where fraternities have been outlawed and political correctness is rampant on campus.
During his visit, Tom manages to make enemies with nearly every group of students on the campus. Getting caught in an infamous "meat tossing incident" (where tubs of raw meat were dropped on a group of animal rights protesters) angers the "cause-heads" (the name given to a group of students who jump from cause to cause protesting), and while taking a short cut through the computer lab, he trips over the power cords and accidentally crashes all the computers, angering all the people working on their thesis papers.
During his visit, Tom also gets in the middle of the war between "The Pit" and "Balls and Shaft", two rival groups on campus. The latter group (officially known as "The Order of Balls and Shaft") is a parody of the Skull and Bones secret society and conservative fraternities in general. Among its members is Rand McPherson (David Spade), who, with the other Balls and Shaft members, want the outlawed Greek system to return. Meanwhile, members of "The Pit", a party-frat which split from Balls and Shaft years ago currently led by James "Droz" Andrews (Jeremy Piven) and living in the dilapidated former Balls and Shaft frat house (the eponymous "Pit") just want everyone to get along. The movie is in part about the battle between Droz and Rand.
Besides Balls and Shaft, the other great nemeses of The Pit are a radical feminist group on campus known as the Womynists, and the college president, Ms. Garcia-Thompson (Jessica Walter), who is obsessed with enforcing "sensitivity awareness" and multiculturalism to the point where she proposes that Bisexual Asian Studies should have its own building (ousting either mathematics or hockey). The Womynists' entire world view revolves around a paranoia about rape culture and all things phallic, and they are known to hold protests at parties chanting "hey hey, ho ho, this penis party's got to go!" Ms. Garcia-Thompson conspires with Balls and Shaft to get The Pit, their mutual nemesis, kicked off campus, giving Rand control of the house.
The Pit responds by throwing a party to raise funds to pay off their debts and keep their house. The Womynists take offense to The Pit's flyers advertising the party, and hold a protest outside. The party at first appears to be a failure. However, a series of unlikely events results in George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic performing at the party. Students begin streaming in and the party successfully raises the funds to keep the house.
After Garcia-Thompson decides to throw The Pit off campus anyway, using the history of complaints against The Pit as her reason, the members of The Pit plot their ultimate revenge at an alumni gathering the next day. They succeed in provoking the other students into an impromptu protest (ironically using the collective chant "We're not gonna protest"), giving the Board of Trustees (who secretly hate Garcia-Thompson) the opportunity to fire her due to her inability to control the student body. Rand explosively rants to Andrews his contempt for every group with a cause, unaware Andrews is armed with the podium microphone and is broadcasting his words to everyone.
The film ends showing Tom heading home, having decided to commit to going to PCU. As he sits on the bus, he sees Rand, who is now in Tom's position at the beginning of the film: being chased by the students across campus.
The movie was filmed almost completely in and around Toronto with the University of Toronto serving as Port Chester University. Some limited 2nd unit shots were shot on the Wesleyan University campus.
Jeremy Piven complains in the DVD commentary that actors were not allowed to improvise at all. Piven was able to include some limited improv by appealing to the writers who claimed the lines were theirs.
- Jeremy Piven - James "Droz" Andrews
- Chris Young - Tom Lawrence
- Megan Ward - Katy
- Jon Favreau - Gutter
- Alex Désert - Mullaney
- Gale Mayron - Cecilia
- Jake Beecham - Dave #1
- Darin Heames - Dave #2
- Matt Ross - Raji (as Matthew Brandon Ross)
- Stivi Paskoski - Deege
- Jody Racicot - Pigman
- Sarah Trigger - Samantha
- Viveka Davis - Womynist #1
- Maddie Corman - Womynist #2
- David Spade - Rand McPherson
- Kevin Jubinville - Carter Prescott
- Jake Busey - Mersh
- Jessica Walter - President Garcia Thompson
- Colin Fox - Trustee #1
- Larry Reynolds - Trustee #2
- George Clinton - Himself
The movie received mixed reviews. It currently holds a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert said the movie "begins with a fantastic premise, but immediately loses faith in it." Nonetheless, it has also been ranked among the ten best college movies.
With a budget of $8 million, it made $2,129,483 on opening weekend in May 1994 contributing to a gross sales of $4,350,774.
- "IMDb, PCU". Amazon.com. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- "PCU (1994)". Box Office Mojo. 1994-05-24. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "PCU: Movie Info". Mutantreviewers.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- DVD Director's commentary
- PCU Filming Locations
- Jeremy Piven Bio
- Ebert, Roger (April 29, 1994). "PCU". RogerEbert.com.
- The GREATEST College Movies (VIDEO). Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
- Ebert, Roger (April 29, 1994). "PCU". RogerEbert.com.