Picks and Pans Review: Dead Man on Campus
On the verge of flunking out, Scott and Gosselaar, two roommates on a campus called Daleman, learn of a little-known school rule that could save their party-animal hides: Any student whose roomie dies is given A's, presumably as consolation. Scott and Gosselaar immediately search for a third roommate, preferably one with a personality disorder and suicidal tendencies.
As premises go, this one is unusually thin, boorish and insensitive. No amount of reworking with a No. 2 pencil will do any good.
Scott, at least, has an easygoing, engaging goofiness—something like Tom Hanks before he became an American icon (in fact, Hanks directed him in That Thing You Do!). Gosselaar's talent does not seem to have matured much since his days as head hunk on Saved by the Bell. The best performance is by Corey Page as a flamboyantly morbid rock-star wannabe who has a secret penchant for show tunes. (R)
Bottom Line: Fails any test you want to give it