Van Wilder: The Rise Of Taj
(D: Mort Nathan, 95 min)
The face of mainstream American movies is slowly changing, and Kal Penn has a lot to do with it. Best known as Kumar, the guy who chowed down White Castle burgers with buddy Harold (John Cho), Penn shows off his dramatic chops next spring as the lead in Mira Nair's The Namesake.
But for now he revisits Taj, his party-hearty character from National Lampoon's Van Wilder. In this sequel, Taj crosses the pond and tries to teach a bunch of tight-assed Oxford students how to loosen up. Let's hope the film gets good marks at the box office - it could influence future studio decisions about ethnic diversity.
Screened after press time - see review December 1 at www.nowtoronto.com/film.