Eurotrip seems like just another mindless teen sex
comedy. The opening credits run over a montage of flight safety
instructions that are basically jokes about sex and vomiting.
Mildly clever, but not promising anything we haven't seen
it's also true that the movie has a pretty simple structure
and, plot-wise, really doesn't have anything we haven't seen
before. But after a quick set-up, something strange happens.
Writing/directing team Jeff Schaffer (the credited director),
Alec Berg and David Mandel let the jokes move at a relaxed
pace, building and actually paying off. Though they really
are still basically jokes about sex and other bodily functions,
they have a freshness to them. Never mind. That's over-intellectualizing
I could not believe how much this movie does not suck.
of it comes from this being the rare teen movie with leads
that seem like actual teens, not refugees from the WB. (Although
I guess technically Michelle Trachtenberg is a WB survivor,
she was 17 when this movie was shot and looks it.) This youth
makes their eagerness and naivete believable, and goes a long
way to somehow buffering the hilarious tastelessness of some
of the jokes. Some may be offended by the two lead guys' homophobia,
but it's in character and they pay for it more than once.
Besides, it provides an excuse for Fred Armisen to play "Creepy
Italian Guy," and once you've seen that, all is forgiven.
afternoon of his high school graduation, Scott (Scott Mechlowicz)
gets dumped by his girlfriend Fiona (Kristin Kreuk, actually
using more than two expressions). The day gets worse from
there. Not only is the break-up caught on videotape by his
mom and played over and over by his little brother Bert (Nial
Iskhakov), it turns out that Fiona's other boyfriend
(Matt Damon) has immortalized his shame in song.
his German e-mail friend Mieke offers solace, until a drunken
Scott fears the anonymous cyberpal is putting the moves on
him. Before passing out, Scott flames Mieke. Too bad his German
isn't good enough to realize that Mieke is a girl's name,
and boy, is she hot.
Scott and his best friend Cooper (Jacob Pitts) must journey
to Berlin to undo the drunken damage, find Scott's soul mate
(that would be Mieke, played voluptuously by Jessica Boehrs,
a German pop star) and incidentally have kinky European sex.
Along the way they join a couple of other friends from high
school (Trachtenberg and Travis Wester), dubbed by Scott "the
worst twins ever" due to their barely seeming related. Oh,
how that will come back to haunt them.
pretty typical fare, except that the jokes just keep coming
out of left field and playing against expectations, starting
with Damon's ode to Scott, an irritatingly catchy punk song
that returns again and again, long after the movie ends. Zombie
movies will be deflated forever by a nude beach sequence.
What could have been a tired exercise with a face-off against
a French mime turns into an unexpected tour de force
of physical comedy. Yeah, you've seen the robot man in the
commercials, but thankfully, none of its true brilliance is
of the film will strike some as offensive. Catholics, in particular,
will have a bone to pick with the filmmakers. However, it's
unlikely they'll have made it far enough in to see the Vatican
scenes, having been driven away by the cheerful Aryan child
doing a Hitler impression. Kudos to Eurotrip for being
willing to go anywhere for a joke, and doing it well.
when jokes fall flat, and some do, the movie soon picks up
steam again. Like a Seinfeld episode, bits reincorporate
subtly, no surprise since the writing team actually did cut
its teeth on that show. For the sake of time, a few clearly
treasured jokes had to be cut and inserted back into the end
credits, including a couple that left in would have completed
the sacred comedy rule of three. I'm actually looking forward
to the DVD release in order to hopefully see the deleted scenes
the USA network, and you'll see a lot of actors in teen comedies
that sunk from view shortly afterward. It seems hard to imagine
that happening to this cast. The main four are all likable
and talented. In particular, Pitts seems a real find with
Eurotrip is an unexpected surprise, and absolutely
the best of this week's releases. Most importantly, it's the
kind of movie with gags you'll be referencing with your friends
over and over when you're hanging out together. And that's
certainly worth your nine bucks and then some.