America 2028 Movie Reviews, 5
Also posted at Medium.
Nothing like a lighthearted romp about college hijinks to make a fella feel nostalgic for the old days, back when we humans did things like listen to whatever music we desired and venture into the outdoors without donning radiation suits.
Granted, my higher-learning experience in the early nineties offered a different array of challenges than those faced by the four main characters at Cheney University. There was a wider range of majors back then, come to think of it. And now that I’m in recollection mode, there were also more colleges to choose from as well. Not every college had the “Cheney U” brand stamped all over it.
Ahhh…those days before billionaires corporatized the educational system and named it after the man who secured a $50 billion no-bid contract for Halliburton and covered up prisoner abuses. If memory serves, Dick might have held a political office or two as well.
God rest his…what’s the word…soul.
Comfortably strolling down Memory Lane, inspired by the mix of acting and cinematography in ‘K’ Is for ‘College’!, I remember we kids had the opportunity to choose from a variety of large state universities, small state colleges, private schools—institutions where we had the opportunity to major in subjects like History, or Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Sociology, Philosophy, Mathematics. Sure, the kids these days get a dose of math, I don’t mean to sound like a fuddy-duddy here. I just remember teachers back then seemed to believe that numbers could serve other purposes besides only providing different ways to look at money.
Okay. I’ll stop. You folks didn’t pick up this movie review to read my attempts to reconstruct a world that seems like a world far removed from this world and its overlord, President Eric Trump.
Like many college coming-of-age movies, ‘K’ Is for ‘College’! opens on the dorm’s move-in day. Their first few minutes on campus, we get to meet the four main characters, blonde lads who will form bonds over the next four years while studying monetary concepts, gazing at pictures of money, talking to each other about the greatness of money and roofie’ing females’ drinks.
To make absorbing the plot line even easier, each of the four guys’ nicknames stems from their respective college majors.
Nickles, we learn in the first ten minutes, is excited to major in Nickling. And—wouldn’t you know it!—he walks into his dorm to meet his roommate. Dimes can’t wait to start studying Diming.
(Not to toot my own horn, but I called it: the ending, where Nickles and Dimes graduate and the ending title cards state that the two of them eventually went into business together and became billionaires. Somehow, from the first moment those two shook hands, I saw it.)
Next door to Nickles and Dimes are Pinchy, the Penny-Pinching major, and Hardball. Fittingly, Hardball is the big guy of the bunch. Anybody majoring in Playing Hardball needs to be a burly type of fella to make it in this modern business world. I’ve read the government-sanctioned news.
‘K’ Is for ‘College’! rocks and rolls through the fellas’ freshman year, then sophomore year, followed by the junior year where the four of them rent the big, cool house that they had partied in many times during the previous two years. So many female party guests got roofied in those first two years, what a fun twist to see our four main characters move into the house and roofie even more female party guests. It seemed like a natural narrative choice. I commend the story’s writers for remaining conventional with the storyline about the power of money and taking advantage of everything in sight.
While Nickles, Dimes, Pinchy and Hardball each had their own quirks, they also felt familiar and reassuring. They brought me back to a simpler time—though I do admit that maybe I felt “old-fashioned” watching the casual nature of their slipping sleeping pills into womens’ drinks. I just remember when such things were frowned upon, that’s all.
Also, since I’m thinking out loud here, at times it felt perplexing to watch the four main characters’ virulent anti-semitism curiously mesh with their obsessive money-grubbing. The lengths they went to in order to save even a few dollars almost reminded me of the historic stereotypes about money-grubbing, cheapskate Jews.
Of course, us white folks do that, don’t we? We idolize billionaire white men for being cheap while demonizing Jews. Hey, we also love it when our rich white men abort their mistresses’ pregnancies while supporting legislation that outlaws abortion.
I guess we whites are white. As white as Nickles, Dimes, Pinchy and Hardball. As white as last night’s radiation storm.
While walking out of the theater and securing my radiation suit tight around my body, I compared and contrasted ‘K’ Is for ‘College’! with Animal House. Which movie better captured the carefree college experience?
I struggled to answer that question until it hit me that both stories remained grounded in their respective time periods. The binge-drinking of the earlier movie metaphorically tracked with the later movie’s constant barrage of dialogue about the intoxicating powers of money. When these four bros weren’t yelling salutations to the statues of Eric Trump that littered the Cheney U. campus, they philosophized about finance.
I think Bluto, Otter, Boone and D-Day would find Nickles, Dimes, Pinchy and Hardball to be their type of fellas.
I only say that because saying otherwise might get me rounded up and sent to a camp.
Also posted at Medium.
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