Watch This: The Freshman was a perfect valentine to Marlon Brando

One week a month, Watch This offers movie recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: School’s out for summer. Celebrate the end of a semester (or just the release of Neighbors 2) with these unconventional campus comedies.

The Freshman (1990)

The same year that The Godfather: Part III debuted to less-than-stellar reviews, The Freshman featured a proper homage to Marlon Brando’s Vito Corleone, performed by none other than Brando himself. Andrew Bergman had already written the perfect ordinary-guy-gets-dragged-into-villainous-yet-hilarious-conspiracy film: 1979’s The In-Laws. He successfully revisited this setup in 1990 with The Freshman (which he also directed), with Matthew Broderick in the hapless role that Alan Arkin pulled off so well about a decade earlier. (Even the scores sound similar, though they’re penned by two different composers.)

Broderick is the freshman of the title—a freshman not just at NYU film school …

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