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Similarities between Fight Club (1999) and Old School (2003)


#1

I was watching Old School the other day and it never occurred to me on the first viewing how many similarities it has to the structure of Fight Club.


  • After an inciting incident (apartment exploding in Fight Club, wife swinging in Old School), the protagonist moves residence and adopts a whole new lifestyle.
  • The lifestyle influenced by a second person (real or otherwise).
  • His work suffers as his concentration shifts to his extra-curricular activities (the frat house in Old School, Fight Club and Project Mayhem).
  • But the organisation falls to his friend (again real or otherwise).
  • There is a scene where he stands up to his boss in both films.
  • There is a girl who is meeting at this strange transition in his life.
  • …And in both films he meets her in a cafe and the waiter who knows him by reputation won’t accept payment on his part.
  • At a point, the power is transferred from his friend/alter-ego to him.



    It seems to follow the same kind of path, although without the alter-ego side to it (replaced by his friend) and, obviously, with more of an emphasis on comedy.



    If it was meant to follow a similar path to Fight Club, I wouldn’t be surprised though. Todd Phillips latest film The Hangover has Rain Man and Casino references in it.

#2

interesting. But I think you’ll find this trajectory in most films…all stories are based on 7 templates. some films sucessfully hide their construction but they pretty much all conform to the ancient greek tales.


#3

[quote=“blue_lou_boyle”]interesting. But I think you’ll find this trajectory in most films…all stories are based on 7 templates. some films sucessfully hide their construction but they pretty much all conform to the ancient greek tales.[/quote]

I mean from a filmic point of view, the scene layouts are very similar. I was trying to make it sound general, but it’s more a scene-by-scene similarity. Plus Phillips is quite cine-literate from what I can tell.



I am familiar with Joseph Campbell though and Hero with a Thousand Faces and such.


#4

will have to check out Old School again…wasn’t a big fan of it the first time though.