I could watch the hysterical comedy The Freshman any day of the week; it’s just one of those comfort-zone comedies that hits its targets, doesn’t over-extend itself, and knows how to land joke after joke with sly comic timing from everyone in the stacked cast, most especially Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando, in what’s easily his funniest performance outside of The Formula.
Written and directed by Andrew Bergman (Soapdish, The In-Laws, Blazing Saddles, It Could Happen to You, Honeymoon in Vegas, Striptease), The Freshman was released in 1990, and was a solid hit with both critics and audiences, but I get the sense that this one really caught on in the Blockbuster-era. It also looks very handsome because William A. Fraker was calling the shots as cinematographer, and he basically did nothing but excellent work his entire career.
Also, TriStar Pictures POWER and scene-stealing Bruno Kirby POWER. And let’s not forget about that damn Komodo dragon! And honestly, it’s worth repeating – Brando is a RIOT in this movie, cleverly sending-up his immortal role from The Godfather, with everyone in the cast totally in on the joke and running wild with it. If you’ve not seen this one in a while, it’s definitely worthy of rediscovery.
Review by Nick Clement