Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

St. Petersburg Times Online

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'Stealing Harvard': summa cum stupid

[Photo: Columbia Pictures]
Leslie Mann stars with Tom Green and Jason Lee in Stealing Harvard.

Billy photo
Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 23, 2002

Movie: Stealing Harvard

  • Rating: PG-13

Summary: John (Jason Lee) is just beginning to settle into life with his bride-to-be, Elaine (Leslie Mann). They agree not to get married until they save $30,000 to put toward a down payment on a house, so they can begin married life on a positive note. But John is reminded of a promise he made to his niece when she was in elementary school that he would pay her college tuition if she made it that far. Well, she gets accepted into Harvard, and that lump sum she owes for her first year is $29,000. He can't tell Elaine because she's already found their dream house, and none of his friends will lend him money. The only suggestion for help comes from his old friend Duff (Tom Green), a loser making a meager living as a really bad landscaper. His idea: Steal the money! John is desperate enough to take that advice and, with Duff's help, attempts to do just that.

My View: Right off the bat, the name Tom Green should tell you something about the caliber of this film, though he is considerably tamer here than his usually profane, irreverent personality. I was expecting more of a slapstick, laugh-so-hard-your-stomach-hurts movie. What I got was a substandard stinker.

Least Favorite Part: There was not a single thing that could have prevented this movie from being a total flop! There were several attempts to come up with something really funny, but almost funny is as close as it got.

Recommendations: If Harvard in this movie's title tempts you into thinking there's intelligent life here, you are horribly mistaken!

Grade: F

-- Billy Norris, 14, is in the ninth grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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