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Stealing Harvard (2002)

Jason Lee , Tom Green , Bruce McCulloch  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jason Lee, Tom Green, Leslie Mann, Megan Mullally, Dennis Farina
  • Directors: Bruce McCulloch
  • Writers: Martin Hynes, Peter Tolan
  • Producers: Bert Salke, Chris Brancato, Howard Lapides, Marty P. Ewing, Maureen Peyrot
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007M5KK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stealing Harvard" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John (Jason Lee) leads a simple and happy life. He has a beautiful fiancée and an assistant managerposition at his future father-in-law's company. Everything seems perfect, until John's favorite niece surprises him with her acceptance to Harvard University and he's reminded of a long forgotten oath he made to foot the bill! Desperate, John turns to his hare-brained and half-witted best friend Duff (Tom Green) for advice. Thinking far outside of the box, Duff convinces John that they must temporarily lead a life of crime to raise the needed cash! From the director of Superstar, and co-starring Megan Mullally (Emmy Award(r) winning Best Supporting Actress for TV's "Will & Grace") and Dennis Farina (Snatch, Big Trouble), Stealing Harvard is an outrageous comedy of errors proving that getting into college is the easy part!

In Stealing Harvard, the charming Jason Lee (Chasing Amy, Almost Famous) wastes his talent playing John, a nice guy who once rashly promised his niece that he would pay for her college education. Now she's been accepted into Harvard, and though John has just the right amount of money in the bank, that money is meant to buy a house for himself and his fiancée Elaine (Leslie Mann, Big Daddy). Afraid of disappointing his niece, John enlists his friend Duff (Tom Green, Freddy Got Fingered, Road Trip) on a spree of inane criminal escapades that go wrong. Lee is an engaging actor, but he can't make the half-baked gags of Stealing Harvard funny. Similarly wasted are Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Dennis Farina (Out of Sight, Snatch), Chris Penn (Reservoir Dogs, Short Cuts), and others. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I did like the "Branch Rickey" joke, but I bet that gag was over the head of a lot of people who checked out "Stealing Harvard." Besides, that joke was in the trailer as were most of what ends up being the funny parts from this 2002 comedy. Please, raise your hand if you are sick and tired of trailers usually being better than the movies they trick you into going to see. If this movie did not have a trailer to give away the good parts I could have given it another star.
The story that Peter Tolan and Martin Hynes come up with provides a good enough framework for a comedy. John Plummer (Jason Lee) and his fiance, Elaine Warner (Leslie Mann) have finally saved $30,000, which is enough for them to buy a home and get married. But John's neice Noreen (Tammy Blanchard) has just achieved her dream of being accepted at Harvard and she and her mother, Patty (Megan Mullally) have a videotape from many years earlier when Uncle John promised to pay for Noreen's college education. Noreen only needs $29 thousand and change in eleven days. John cannot just give Noreen the $30,000 that is earmarked for the new house and the only reasonable alternative, as suggested by his best friend "Duff" (Tom Green), is to steal the money.
This is easier said then done, an idea that could be handled creatively but is not in this film. Instead we have something on the level of "Raising Arizona" if written by high school students who only remember the worst episodes of "Saturday Night Live." This movie is just not funny and most of the cast is clearly trying too hard. A film in which Tom Green and Jason Lee are both too sedate is not a good sign.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY FUNNY June 8, 2004
By MMAfan
This is a very funny movie. If your a fan of Tom Green you'll like this movie. It's full of laughs from beginning to end. The name of Tom Green's hedge cutting company is cool. Its called "Landscape Escape". I recommend this movie if your a fan of comedy. You won't stop laughing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a steal March 14, 2011
Stealing Harvard happens to succeed on every single level of entertainment. At least, according to my tastes (which may or may not stink, hehe).

It's about a man who makes a promise to his distraught niece after she fails a spelling bee that, if she were to ever make it into college, he'd pay for it. Well skip ahead several years later and, to his absolute surprise she DOES end up going to college, and to Harvard of all places!

It turns out she needs 30,000 bucks. From here the storyline kicks in, and to me, it's a really funny movie that never fails with the laughs. Of course you could argue that once the guys nerdy friend enters the picture to help with the money situation, the humor goes down significantly (because he is fairly annoying, to be honest). He's kind of obnoxious most of the time.

However the incredible twist of horrible luck (and humorous segments) the poor guy has to endure just to come up with 30 grand is quite the spectacle to watch. Despite being a comedy you can't help but feel sorry for the guy. Without spoiling anything, he has to put up with utter crappiness at every single turn it seems.

I mean, just think about this- his girlfriends father hates his guts, the police department gradually catch on to his sneaky ways, and his girlfriend is always questioning his every move. Somehow, for the sake of his nieces future, he has to find ways to avoid *everybody* and focus on obtaining the money.

Overall, it's a really good movie. The humor and storytelling are both really well-written which is a rare find these days. Oh, and a certain dog scene at the end is absolutely priceless (and inappropriate to share!)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tom Green was occasionally funny. April 26, 2003
By A Customer
John Plummer (Jason Lee (I)) lives a kind of doldrum life as an assistant manager of a home medical supply store. He's dating the owner's (Dennis Farina) daughter, Elaine Warner (Leslie Mann), and they are planning on getting married. They had decided to wait to get married until they had saved up enough to put a down payment on a house. The movie begins with them realizing that they have finally saved up enough money. There's just one problem, John promised his niece, Noreen Plummer (Tammy Blanchard), that if she got in to college he would pay for it. Well, she got into Harvard and now she needs the money - the exact amount that he had saved up. John is stuck with a decision but can't take away his wife's dreams, so he turns to an old friend to help him come up with the money, Walter 'Duff' Duffy (Tom Green (III)). Duff comes up with several illegal plans for getting the money, each getting them further into trouble with the law. Eventually all of the plans catch up to them and they have to deal with the chaos they have been causing and they still don't have the money.
My Comments:
The movie was occasionally funny, but only occasionally. The plot was pretty good and the story wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really memorable. The major problem with the movie was that it was supposed to be funny, but it wasn't. Jason Lee tries, and some of the situations are a bit humorous - specifically the repeated instances of the main characters having to dress up as women for the Honorable Emmett Cook (Richard Jenkins (I)) - but the best it does is get an occasional chuckle.
This movie seemed to receive a lot of hype, and, frankly, I thought it was going to be more about actually going to college. But college and college life really have very little to do with it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated
Maybe I was just in a great mood, but this is silly fun. Jason Lee and Tom Green are at there best. They have an odd chemistry. The plot is silly, as you can read above. Read more
Published 7 months ago by KLR
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect..
Great movie! Apologize for the tardy response. I'm new to #amazon still.
Nevertheless, the film was great, the item was accurate, and I would definitely do business with... Read more
Published 15 months ago by William Justice
1.0 out of 5 stars didn't work
it didn't work on my recorder so I didn't get to see what's all about
I HATED that when video don't work...
Published 15 months ago by pj
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
love it. also came in good condition. So, very happy with this purchase. Definitely worth the money which was a very good deal.
Published 15 months ago by Alicia Pardick
5.0 out of 5 stars Lee and Green a good pair...
Tom Green and Jason Lee are hilarious. The movie is extremely funny and entertaining. At some points I couldn't stop laughing. Highly recommend for a good laugh.
Published 18 months ago by Victor M. Sanchez II
4.0 out of 5 stars Good in its own way
Tom Green is an inventive comedian who for the short time he was prominent in the 90's brought a fun twist to all the commercial BS. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jared J
1.0 out of 5 stars Forgettable, merely a paycheck for the actors
Tom Green and Jason Lee have teamed for this comedy. Stealing Harvard introduces us to Jason Lee, who quickly learns that Harvard has accepted her. Read more
Published on December 11, 2011 by Mike London
1.0 out of 5 stars Stop stealing my time...
I bought this movie without ever seeing it because based on the trailer it looked hilarious. At the time Tom Green was the `it' comedian; his MTV show being huge and his high... Read more
Published on May 23, 2008 by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets Even Better Each Time...
Okay, sure, it was just a normal teenish comedy the first time I saw it in the theatures... wasn't too funny, but was entertaining. Then I got it as a gift. W O W ! Read more
Published on March 18, 2006 by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm not liquid, Jon. I'm not...liquid!"
This movie is hilarious. Jon Plummer (Jason Lee) made a promise to his niece when she became eliminated from an elementary school spelling bee that he'd pay her way to college. Read more
Published on October 7, 2005 by Zack H.
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