Harvard Man by James Toback |Adrian Grenier, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey Lauren Adams | 687797606648 | DVD | Barnes & Noble
Harvard Man

Harvard Man

Director: James Toback

Cast: Adrian Grenier, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joey Lauren Adams

     
 

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Director and screenwriter James Toback used his own experiences as a college student in the 1960s as the basis for this drama about a present-day student athlete who's bitten off more than he can chew. Alan Jensen (Adrian Grenier) is a college sophomore struggling to keep up with an unusually busy schedule -- while studying philosophy as a Harvard undergrad, he's also

Overview

Director and screenwriter James Toback used his own experiences as a college student in the 1960s as the basis for this drama about a present-day student athlete who's bitten off more than he can chew. Alan Jensen (Adrian Grenier) is a college sophomore struggling to keep up with an unusually busy schedule -- while studying philosophy as a Harvard undergrad, he's also a point guard on the school's basketball team, and is juggling two girlfriends, cheerleader Cindy Bandolini (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Chesney (Joey Lauren Adams), a professor ten years his senior. As Alan tries to stay on top of his classes and keep his love life sorted out, he receives some bad news from his parents -- a tornado has devastated their home, and they need $100,000 to rebuild. Alan wants to help his parents, and as it happens, Cindy's father is a Mafia boss tied in with a number of powerful bookies. Cindy uses her family's connection to put Alan in touch with Teddy (Eric Stoltz), a bookie who's willing to give Alan $100,000 in exchange for throwing a few games and shaving some points. Cindy also uses her dad's bankroll to place a quarter-million dollar bet on the upcoming Harvard-Dartmouth game, certain Alan can ensure a predictable outcome. But when the games don't go quite the way Alan expected, despite his best worst effort, he finds himself in dutch with the Mafia, while also attracting the attention of FBI agents who've been investigating Teddy and his associates. Amidst this chaos, Alan hops a jet home to give his parents the ill-gotten $100,000, and on the flight back decides to relax mid-flight by dropping a heroic dose of LSD, which turns out not to be one of his better ideas. Harvard Man was originally intended to star Leonardo DiCaprio as Alan, but after the project was put on hold in 1994, DiCaprio rocketed to fame in Titanic, which priced himself out of the project by the time James Toback was able to return to it years later.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Harvard Man purports to be a realistic film about modern college life. Instead, it's a wacky combination of B-movie tropes, improbable plot twists, and graphic sex. Actors seem to have been cast for their faces and bodies more than for their thespian talents or suitability for the roles they play. Adrian Grenier, in the title role, has the dark good looks the role calls for, but he's a bit stiff. Sarah Michelle Gellar (TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays a spoiled and unscrupulous mobster's daughter. She's an engaging actress, but the ridiculous machinations of the plot and the absurd dialogue leave her struggling. Raspy-voiced Joey Lauren Adams fares slightly better, surprisingly, as a threesome-loving Harvard philosophy professor. Her lectures on Heidegger and Kierkegaard are delivered convincingly enough, and it helps that Toback intercuts them with the aforementioned graphic sex scenes. The film jumps back and forth in time frequently, and with little recognizable purpose. The overly familiar plot, involving Grenier's decision to fix a basketball game to get his parents money to repair their home, is actually believable enough to carry the audience along until an unlikely FBI operation comes into play. At one point, Grenier, in the midst of an acid trip, escapes the FBI by leaping out the second floor window of the interrogation room. This doesn't quite ring true, but then again, this particular breed of FBI agent only exists in bad movies. Harvard Man is awful in a fun way for most of its running time, but the climactic dramatization of Grenier's acid trip, with its seemingly endless repetition of unpleasant sights and sounds, will likely leave audiences wishing the film would just end. James Toback is a self-indulgent filmmaker that viewers either love or hate, and Harvard Man fits in neatly with his oeuvre.
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers
In a summer of clones, Harvard Man is something rare and riveting: a wild ride that relies on more than special effects.
San Francisco Chronicle
Has everything you could ever want from a Toback movie: lurid sex, shocking excess and an out-of- nowhere thoughtfulness that's not put on.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2008
UPC:
0687797606648
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
Alchemy / Millennium
Time:
1:39:00
Sales rank:
90,893

Special Features

Director's commentary; Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Adrian Grenier Alan Jensen
Sarah Michelle Gellar Cindy Bandolini
Joey Lauren Adams Chesney
Eric Stoltz Teddy
Rebecca Gayheart Kelly
Ray Allen Vince Capararo
Michael Aparo Russell

Technical Credits
James Toback Director,Screenwriter
Maxyne Baker Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniel Bigel Producer
Michael Burns Executive Producer
J. Miles Dale Co-producer
Suzy Elmiger Editor
Felicia Fasano Casting
David Ferrara Cinematographer
Jeff Franks Associate Producer
Donald Kushner Executive Producer
Rupert Lazarus Production Designer
Peter Locke Executive Producer
Michael Mailer Producer
Anne McCarthy Casting
David McLeod Asst. Director
David L. McLeod Asst. Director
Edward R. Pressman Executive Producer
Jeff Sackman Executive Producer
Ryan Shore Score Composer
Stomy Bugsy Songwriter
Mary Vernieu Casting

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Harvard Man
1. Start [4:51]
2. "We Suck" [2:33]
3. Home [1:50]
4. Psychology [5:46]
5. Cindy's Father [8:11]
6. Struggling [2:56]
7. Multiple Clarity [1:54]
8. Cindy's Motive [11:39]
9. A Worried Friend [1:28]
10. Celebration [1:43]
11. Kansas City [2:07]
12. Profits [6:29]
13. A Third Wheel [3:23]
14. The Trip Back [2:27]
15. An Awkward Meeting [1:44]
16. 15,000 Micrograms [7:09]
17. Sandy [1:58]
18. Nothing [:59]
19. Daddy [2:01]
20. Escaping the FBI [1:24]
21. Dr. Reese [2:04]
22. Looking For Alan [:47]
23. "No More Voices!" [4:08]
24. Preparing the Party [4:24]
25. The Party [:30]
26. Evidence [2:08]
27. Cindy [2:05]
28. Chesney [9:22]

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