It’s hard to imagine buddies John and Duff (Jason Lee and Tom Green) having survived to adulthood, considering their brainless schemes to raise $30,000. John and Elaine (Leslie Mann), his live-in girlfriend, have finally saved $30,000 to buy a house, but John is reminded by his sister that he promised to pay for her daughter to attend Harvard. Duff gives new meaning to the term “mastermind” when he suggests that John break into a wealthy widower’s home. When that backfires, the two participate in a botched liquor store robbery and, finally, Elaine helps them break into her father’s medical equipment showroom. This slapstick style humor may attract 13-year-old boys and fans of standup comedian Green. But for most, the characters are so dumb, STEALING HARVARD will insult their intelligence.
We are supposed to admire John for honoring his promise to niece Noreen (Tammy Blanchard), who lives in a trailer park with her mother, Patty (Megan Mullally). Patty “entertains” men, sometimes three at a time, although sex is only implied. John swears to Elaine’s father (Dennis Farina) that he and Elaine have never had sex in the seven years they have lived together. These two are shown in bed at least three times having sex beneath the covers. Elaine becomes aroused during the robbery of her father’s business and throws John on the desk before they are interrupted. Her father’s dog grabs Duff’s crotch and won’t let him go. In the first robbery attempt, John is caught by the lonely widower occupant, and is forced at gunpoint to put on a blond wig and nightgown, then snuggle in bed with the middle-aged man. This scenario is repeated three times. To all of this, add 10 obscenities and 10 regular profanities, and discerning moviegoers will agree STEALING HARVARD should be rated R and spurned at the box office.