Is "Animal House" overrated?

In the “Rank the SNL Alums’ post SNL careers” thread, I mentioned “National Lampoon’s Animal House” re John Belushi. Martini Enfield responded with this post:

or (no link needed):

Before this, I’d literally never heard anyone talk about Animal House in anything other than glowing terms. But the movie is 32 years old, and maybe Martini is right (although I disagree).

What say you? Overrated? Overexposed? Outdated?

I saw it as an adult and yes, I agree it is overexposed, outdated, and definitely overrated. But I never thought it was supposed to be something great, and people act like it is. I think it was just supposed to be a stupid funny movie and people are looking back at it through the filter of their own nostalgia.

No problem there, just that we don’t all have that filter for the same things.

Everybody’s favorite anythings are over-rated. :smiley:

Animal House was never intended to be Art. For what it was, it was excellent.

Let’s put it this way: When I saw it in the theatre, when it was first released, I missed big stretches of dialog because the audience was laughing so loudly. I’ve never been to a movie since that had that kind of audience reaction. Remember - AH broke ground for all the runchy comedies that have followed - Porky’s, American Pie, Caddyshack, etc.
When seen today, AH seems almost tame and understated - at the time it was over the top!

Overrated how? By whom?

Did it win a pile of Oscars? Does it make all the critics’ “10 Greatest Films of All Time” list? No. So, how is ***Animal House ***“overrated”?

It was a very successful, much loved comedy in its day. Its chosen audience (meaning, those of us who were adolescent or college males in 1979) loved it. I certainly loved it then.

But I haven’t been a teenager in a long time, and I haven’t tried to watch it in 20+ years. Would I still laugh at it, the way I did as a teen? Highly unlikely. But so what? It was a perfect comedy for the kid I was at that time.

MANY movies, books and recordings were perfect for the people we were at one time, but no longer speak to us, or no longer strike a chord with today’s kids. That doesn’t diminish them, in my view.

Nope, not over-rated. Is surely has to one of the best “frat comedy” movies ever.

I think it was a big success because it struck a nerve. It came out just as the peak of the Baby Boomers (not the start of it) were graduating college, so they could immediately relate*. I know I did – I could draw clear parallels between my living group (a dorm, not a frat, but the floor treated itself like a frat) – the Beer Blasts, the people all known by nicknames rather than real names**, the us-vs-them mentality, the grossness. It was a comedy in the right place at the right time.

*the guys who made it, though, were more than a decade older, and based it on recollections of Dartmouth from the early 1960s. Doesn’t matter – it still fit close enough to most peoples’ experiences
**We once got a phone call for one resident asking for his real name, rather than his “floor name”. Nobody knew him by that name, so we couldn’t get him to the phone.

It came out when I was in college - I can’t remember ever seeing lines for a movie like at the campus theater.

I think comedies may “hold up” less well than other genres. You remember all these great moments, but then the periods between those bits seems to stretch on… When my kids were young I remember exposing them to A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World. After I had told them how hilarious they were going to be, the kids kept saying “Tell us when it gets to the funny part!”

But I think AH still holds up pretty well. My kids are currently in college, and they get a kick out of lines like “7 years of college down the drain.” I bet there would be a pretty shortlist of comedies that have lines/bits/images that are as widely known and enjoyed as AH. So in that respect, I’d say it definitely holds up. The only competitors would be the likes of Caddyshack, Blazing Saddles, The Holy Grail and The Life of Brian.

I first saw it sometime in the late 80s/early 90s. I would have been a young teen at the time, probably watching a TV edited version of it. I thought it was funny as all get-out, but at that age, pretty much everything was funny to me.

Since then, I’ve seen it numerous times and, as an adult, I still think it holds up favorably. I don’t think it’s overrated at all, and it’s the yardstick that pretty much any raunchy/juvenille/sex/college/gross-out comedy these days is judged by. It’s the Beatles of this particular genre.

Of course its gonna be a little overrated… its bludgeoned into our memories… its a part of the culture… “was it over… when the germans bombed Pearl Harbor!!”

But its still an excellent comedy… maybe a half star behind Blazing Saddles to me…

It still makes me laugh out loud, which is more than I can say for a lot of the comedies of that era. That said, my wife has always thought Porky’s was funnier.:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Someone has to put their foot down in this thread. And that foot is me.

Great movie, still holds up. I remember watching it as a kid, and getting 1/3 of it. I remember seeing it college, and we were matching up friends to BOTH houses. I bought the Double Secret Probation copy on DVD at Target for pennies, and I will happily watch it every few years.

seriously… this could be the greatest thread of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst…

Female here, and when it came out, I paid to see it 4 times.

Saw it first run. Didn’t much like it. Saw it again last year. Mildly amused.

You can’t hold a whole message board responsible for the opinions of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole social media system? And if the whole social media system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of the Internet? I put it to you, **Rocket Science **- isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

Not overrated.

I was at the same school for both bachelor’s and masters, total of 6 and a half years. I use “seven years of college down the drain” all the time.

Well said. Animal House stands up very well today, always funny and enjoyable

Dan Aykroyd was offered the role of D-Day in Animal House, (which was filmed right when Saturday Night Live was just taking the nation by storm) but turned it down, because he wanted his friend John Belushi to get a chance to do something on his own, without being seen as always tied together with Aykroyd.