Amy Heckerling doesn't quite know what kind of audience she is trying to engage. If she's trying to show high school kids the problems and unexpected strife of college life in a metropolis, then she should have shown that world in a more focused way. If she's trying to be funny and quirky for the older subset than her characters should have been better written and less dickish. Besides being clinically underwritten, it's difficult to figure out who is the lead character, or at least the person we're supposed to sympathize with. Throughout the film we follow Paul (Biggs) and it seems that he is our protagonist. We feel for him when his dorm mates are mean spirited, when the girl of his dreams is misguided, and when everything tries to keep him from getting through school, but he lacks character development. He goes through hard times, but there's no resolution to be seen, and he doesn't change at all. Dora (Suvari) on the other hand has a mess of bad things happen to her, and then she changes her opinion about her relationship with her professor (Kinnear), which means she's the only character who evolves throughout the film. It seems that we should be following her, but then interwoven in her tale is that of Paul's, who just seems like some poor schmuck who never wins. Without any proper direction for our characters, and no change in their behaviors or thoughts on the world, there shouldn't really be any reason for this film to exist. It's trying to show the problems of college students, but it doesn't realistically depict them. Paul's three roommates are also pretty distracting, as they're rich, sycophantic rapists, who don't seem to get much comeuppance until the credits. Besides its plot defects it's also drab and very of its time, making this film a tiring slog.