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A teen comedy that smacks of second-generation Hollywood insofar as the director, Jake Kasdan, is the son of Lawrence, and the two leads, Colin Hanks and Schuyler Fisk, are the offspring of Tom Hanks and Sissy Spacek respectively. But for my money, what keeps it bearable is mainly the mugging of the older folks—not just Jack Black, who steals the show in a part seemingly inspired by John Belushi, but Catherine O'Hara, John Lithgow, and, in cameos, Chevy Chase, Lily Tomlin, and Kevin Kline. Mike White's script, about a surfer turned writer (Hanks) determined to get into Stanford, is perfunctory but serviceable. 90 min.

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