Movie Review: College snooze, College stiff

By Sherri Shergill

Partying, sex, drinking and getting into outlandish situations are all part of the unofficial life of undergraduates across North America. On the other hand, the official part–the actual school work–is much less interesting to talk about, let alone watch. But if you really want to watch students grumble about the mundane, because you can not get enough from your own friends, go ahead and watch College Days, College Nights.

This three part mini-series chronicles the lives of sixteen undergrads at the University of British Columbia over two semesters. It documents aspects of their lives on and off campus, with excerpts from the students’ own video diaries interspersed throughout.

But director John Zaritsky did the unimaginable: making students boring, dull and run-of-the-mill. Concentrating mostly on their studies, campaigns and homesickness, Zaritsky fails to expose something new or at the very least include some drama.

A sliver of hope for the slightest bit of entertainment happens at a party getting out of hand. It looks like a rumble is going to break out, but the producer gets involved and ensures everything’s boring again. See, the house he rented for some of the students is owned by a church and the producer doesn’t want to cause problems. Unfortunately, he already has.

This documentary is so horribly tedious no one in their right mind would watch past that scene, realizing that it was the climax of the documentary.

Not to say it’s an entire exercise in monotony, there are a few slightly comical moments. For instance when Howie, a nerd who can’t seem to get anything right, confesses, “I was getting lost – I’m directionally challenged,” or when Jayme, a down on his luck wannabe ladies’ man cries over his ex-girlfriend. But because these moments are heard all over campuses any day of the week, they’re so unsuccessful in this documentary. It lacks originality or spontaneity.

In any post–secondary campus it is rare to find someone normal or uninteresting, everyone has their quirks and problems. However, College Days, College Nights has found the sixteen most banal students of all time and placed them on television for three nights to create an uninspiring look into campus life.

Then again, if you want to reassure your parents about the pureness of university life, let them watch College Days, College Nights so they can sleep peacefully at night knowing their kid is just fine and out of trouble.


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