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.