From Paris to Berlin Part 1: National Lampoon’s Pledge This! (2006)

Film debuts are tricky enough, you only get one chance after all. But when circumstances push your debut past your second film, you know that luck is not on your side. In 2006, Hotel chain heiress, Paris Hilton was given a vehicle to break into the silver screen, a film by a famous brand that at the time had receded from the spotlight. That film was National Lampoon’s Pledge This!

Florida is certainly turning into a proving ground for talent starting out!

Victoria English runs a prestigious sorority based out in sunny Florida, when an eclectic group of girls, all with rich backstories, are ready to start their first day on campus. Shock horror occurs as, due to unforeseen circumstances, their lodging is destroyed. All the other Sororities have unappealing traits. To get in they must endure a gruelling pledge week, only to be denied at the end by English, who see the girls as a solution to the diversity problem, a hindrance to their chances at winning FHM Hottest Sorority in the Country. The now misplaced group want revenge and see the competition as the perfect way to get it.

There’s also this romantic B-plot, involving Victoria’s Boyfriend and Gloria. It’s a nice addition, but I don’t think anybody’s watch this film to see it.

The film has the honour of being the acting debut of one Paris Hilton, and her Production company is listed in the credits. With the way her character is portrayed, it’s interesting to see Paris so willingly take on this role. It seems largely self-critical, but I get the feeling she gets the humour, most of the time. The majority of the remaining cast is filled with competent talent, even if they are less recognisable than Paris. They’re really willing to subject themselves to some wicked scenes and appear to relish the opportunity to do so.

A used Condom ball is the least of your worries Gloria!

With its focus on South Floridan life, you could be mistaken into thinking that this film would be another safe and sanitised look at the affairs of young students like in From Justin to Kelly. But the direct to D.V.D. nature of this film allows some shocking scenes and gags to be depicted, And I’m not talking about a certain character’s attempt at an Irish accent. Though this is true of many straight to D.V.D. contemporaries à la Still Waiting, Fans of that style of humour will once again find this film a worthy addition to their collection.

Special shout-out to Arned, for taking the brunt of the most objectionable stunts

National Lampoon manages to stay in the spotlight with a raunchy send-up of College students, Hilton is a good addition to the line-up by not only being the butt of the joke but in most scenes, in of it. It feels like a nostalgic look back at bygone humour that has long been surpassed. But like most of its D.V.D. equals, if you like comedy on the raunchier or shocking side, National Lampoons Pledge This! will get a passing grade.

…Well not just students, Estate agents get sent up too!

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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