Stealing Harvard (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: There are laughs Stealing Harvard, but they are few and far between. Tom Green's antics grow old fast.

Stealing Harvard Videos

Stealing Harvard Photos

Movie Info

Two buddies find themselves doing some very wrong things for perfectly right reasons in this broad comedy. John (Jason Lee) is a nice guy who is responsible and hardworking; his best friend Duff (Tom Green), however, is his polar opposite, a layabout who is constantly getting in some sort of trouble. John is very much in love with his longtime girlfriend Elaine (Leslie Mann), and wants to marry her, but true to form, he has pledged not to make the walk down the aisle until he has saved up to 30,000 dollars so they'll be able to afford a down payment on the house they've always wanted. After years of saving, John has finally put 30 grand in the bank, and has set the date with Elaine. However, as John's big day approaches, he gets word from his sister Patty (Megan Mullally) that her daughter Noreen (Tammy Blanchard) has been accepted into Harvard University -- and years ago, John promised her if she got into the prestigious college, he'd pay the tuition. Making good on John's pledge to his niece would leave him with a mere 121 dollars in the bank, but he doesn't have the heart to say no to Noreen, or tell Elaine of his dilemma. John does tell Duff about his problem, who comes up with a typically hare-brained solution -- turning to a life of crime for the next two weeks in order to steal another 30,000 dollars. Stealing Harvard costars Dennis Farina and Chris Penn; Bruce McCulloch, a member of the comedy series The Kids in the Hall, served as director.
Rating:
PG-13 (drug Content and Language)
Genre:
Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Jason Lee
as John Plummer
Tom Green (III)
as Walter "Duff" Duffy
Leslie Mann
as Elaine Warner
Megan Mullally
as Patty Plummer
Dennis Farina
as Mr. Warner
Tammy Blanchard
as Noreen Plummer
Richard Jenkins
as Mr. Cook
Chris Penn
as David Loach
John C. McGinley
as Det. Charles
Seymour Cassel
as Uncle Jack
Ken Magee
as Butcher
Martin Starr
as Liquor Store Kid
Mary Gillis
as Duff's Mom
Bruce McCulloch
as Fidio the Lawyer
Ashlynn Rose
as Younger Noreen
Lorna Scott
as Aunt Jean
Bobby Harwell
as Uncle Dave
Gabe Laskin
as Underage Kid
Ashley Bishop
as Underage Kid
Pamela Gordon
as Loretta
Tracy Ryan
as Toy Store Salesperson
Marshall Manesh (II)
as Toy Store Manager
Nick Offerman
as Electrician
Paul Feig
as Electrician
Shane Wayton
as Kid in Tree
Vinnie Curto
as Loach's Friend
Don 'The Dragon' Wilson
as Loach's Friend
Gilbert Rosales
as Loach's Bandit
Thomas Rosales Jr.
as Loach's Bandit
Steffiania Dela Cruz
as Loach's Girlfriend
Ernie Grunwald
as Lineup Man
Channing Chase
as Neighbor Lady
Brian Galyean
as Phone Sales
Susan Solari
as Phone Sales
Courtney Black
as Phone Sales
Terita Jackson
as Noreen's Harvard Roommate
Tom Green
as Walter "Duff" Duffy
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Stealing Harvard

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (28)

No excerpt available.

March 9, 2007
Detroit News
Top Critic

Among the squandered supporting cast are Dennis Farina, Chris Penn, Megan Mullally, and Seymour Cassel.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Weird, then, how the cast play as if holding their breath for the pay cheque.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There's a funny movie trapped somewhere inside Stealing Harvard, but the finished product offers only fleeting glimpses of it.

January 8, 2003
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Top Critic

Whenever Green shows up to do his semi-improvised, non-acting shtick ... this otherwise sprightly and intermittently amusing movie suddenly feels like a ship dragging its anchor.

Full Review… | September 19, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The timing in nearly every scene seems a half beat off.

Full Review… | September 19, 2002
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Stealing Harvard

Tom Green and Jason Lee team up for the incredibly stupid goofball comedy Stealing Harvard. When John Plummer's niece gets into Harvard he's reminded of a promise that he made to her to pay for her college tuition, which leads him to seek the help of his friend Duff, who devices a series of schemes to get the money. Co-starring Leslie Mann, Dennis Farina, and Chris Penn, the film has some impressive comedic talent. But the script is awful, and the actors are unable to make the material work (despite their best efforts). A buddy comedy gone horribly awry, Stealing Harvard is a mass of stupidity.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

½

Stealing Harvard is one of those comedies that could have been very funny and memorable and simply a good time all around. However due to a poor cast, a bad story and minimal jokes, this film fails at delivering what you want from a good comedy. Add to the mix, Tom Green, and you're bound to have a comedy that is sure to fail. Aside from a few funny moments, this is a failure of a comedy that really doesn't have anything good going for it. In the end, I didn't enjoy the film, and I thought it had wasted potential to actually being funny. If the cast was better, it might have been good, and if the plot was better as well, then maybe the film would have succeeded. In the end, there's nothing really interesting going on here, and most of the time the jokes fail to bring on genuine laughter. I think that's pretty bad because, this could have been a good little comedy, instead it falls flat, and the gags are strained, unfunny and overall pointless. This film is one of those comedies that fail because of poor writing, and directing. To me, it all seemed that the filmmakers didn't care about the end result of the film, and this is a film that is not worth your time, and should be avoided if you're looking for something funny. Richard Jenkins was funny in his part, but that wasn't enough to save this film from being a total dud. Ultimately this film is a train wreck, and is just unfunny and it lacks effective jokes to really make it stand out.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

A crazy movie! Jason Lee was good as the poor husband who promised to pay for his niece's education, whilst his wacky gift-basket-making wife wants him to invest the same money in a new home. Jason Lee's character must turn to his half-insane old friend Duff (Tom Green - who wasn't too gross this time) - for ideas for finding cash quickly. They get involved in a liquor store robbery with a toy gun and other schemes. Jason Lee works for his father-in-law (Dennis Farina) at a health care supermarket, which also lead to some crazy jokes. Humour was a bit hit-or-miss - I laughed at the housecat in the cupboards, the gift-baskets, the housebreaking at the lonely widower's mansion and Tom Green being assaulted by the puppy. The story is very cartoonish; I didn't realize Bruce McCulloch (of Kids in the Hall fame) directed this movie; his lawyer character was funny in it. This comedy should've done better, but was probably not gross enough for the likes of the Van Wilder and American Pie-eating crowd.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

Discussion Forum

Discuss Stealing Harvard on our Movie forum!

News & Features