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dir Sean Anders
scr Sean Anders, John Morris
with Josh Zuckerman, Clark Duke, Amanda Crew, James Marsden, Seth Green, Alice Greczyn, Michael Cudlitz, Katrina Bowden, Charles McDermott, Mark L Young, Cole Petersen, David Koechner
release US 17.Oct.08, UK 9.Jan.09
08/US Summit 1h49
Donut bandit: Duke, Zuckerman and Crew
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
There's just enough charm and a few hilarious performances to keep us engaged, even as this film stretches its story far too long. It's funny but not outrageously so, especially if you've ever seen another teen sex comedy.
Ian (Zuckerman) is a Chicago teen who just wants to lose his virginity. He can't get up the nerve to tell his best pal Felicia (Crew) that he wants to be more than just friends, so he goes online and finds a girl (Bowden) who wants him. The problem is that she lives a nine-hour drive away. So while his tough-guy big brother (Marsden) is away, he "borrows" his precious car and hits the road with his ladies-man buddy (Duke). But when Felicia comes along as well, the plan quickly begins to unravel.
All elements of the genre are here; Ian's family comes straight from American Pie, with its clueless parents and obnoxious siblings, plus a central character who has a humiliating job and is so desperate to have sex that he hasn't noticed that his female buddy is in love with him. Throw in the road trip, a wacky side-trip into Amish country, a sleazy hitchhiker (Koechner) and so much gay innuendo that we know there's bound to be some sort of revelation later on, however contrived.
This cheap and cheerful comedy embraces its silliest gags and runs with them even if they don't really work. A corny prison sequence is painfully obvious, and the entire Amish sequence hinges on the joke that Amish girls are actually wild rock chicks under their bonnets. That said, Green's Amish mechanic is absolutely hysterical; he can make us laugh with a perfectly timed pause, never mind his lacerating bone-dry sarcasm. And Marsden is also hilarious from start to finish.
By the time we reach the chaotic finale, the filmmakers struggle to balance the gross-out comedy with a tidal wave of overpowering cuteness. But clunky writing and direction don't matter much with a cast this likeable. The solid central trio carries us through the story with a smile on our faces even if we're not laughing quite as much as we probably should be.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2009 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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