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National Lampoon's Gold Diggers
2004 - PG-13 - 84 Mins.
Director: Gary Preisler
Producer: Gary Preisler
Written By: Gary Preisler
Starring: Will Friedle, Chris Owen, Louise Lasser, Renee Taylor
Review by: Joe Rickey
Official Site:

Lollipop, lollipop...
A low budget combination of a dark and teen comedy donned with the National Lampoon label, helmed by a first time producer/writer/director and starring that guy from the “Boy Meets World” television show (Will Friedle) and that guy from ‘American Pie’ (Chris Owen, also known as “The Sherminator”). ‘National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers’ concerns two twentysomethings (Friedle and Owen) who get arrested for attempting to rob two sisters, the Mundts, in their 60’s (Louise Lasser and Renee Taylor). The women drop the charges, seemingly smitten with the two men 1/3 of their age, and even ask the men to move into their ritzy estate. The two criminals decide to go along with it, figuring that they’ll marry the women whom they hope will die soon. That way, they will get part of the resulting fortune. Little do they know that the two sisters have a secret that could put any hopes of accruing funds in serious jeopardy.

Films like ‘Gold Diggers’ have made the words bland and low-brow necessities in the English language. The film is offensive in its shallow portrayal of women as either objects of desire or conniving misanthropes; not one of the women in this film is an accurate portrait of most members of the fairer sex. Not only that, the film really fares no better in its portrayal of men, as the two protagonists we are supposed to find fun and endearing instead come across as shameless low-life’s with no discernible goals aside from attaining wealth and having sex.

The film is also hampered by the fact that the screenplay is replete with dumbfounding attempts at comedy such as the numerous scenes of the two men getting punched, kicked, or otherwise hurt by women. It’s not funny the first time and certainly doesn’t suddenly become funny upon repeat viewings. Not to mention the various scenes where the two guys dress up in costumes in an attempt to steal from old ladies. The line “Hand over the bags, you old bags” comes immediately to mind as the height of this film’s comedic intelligence.

The film certainly does anything but benefit from lackluster performances. Chris Owen is both bland and lacking in the skills to pull off most comedy. Will Friedle, on the other hand, is a little better off if only because he doesn’t grate on one’s nerves quite as much. Meanwhile, Louise Lasser and Renee Taylor thoroughly embarrass themselves as a pair of short-sighted old ladies who are completely out of touch with reality at times.

The film also makes the grave mistake of becoming a sort of action comedy as it nears its conclusion, a mistake because the actors aren’t up for it and director Gary Preisler hasn’t a clue how to choreograph such scenes, as evidenced by the chaotic fashion that characterizes the action sequences in the film.

‘National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers’ is destined to enter and leave theaters in rapid succession, and boy does it deserve such a fate.

Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

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