"Yes, let's spread our childish depravity all over Europe. Great."
One knows what they're in for when going to see a teenage sex farce like "Eurotrip"...so it's not exactly fair to knock the movie for being sloppily written or poorly directed. (Guilty on both counts.) Quality filmmaking or original concepts aside, the laughs are the only real key, and this movie offers precisely...none.As I sat and had the lukewarm slapstick pap that is Eurotrip ooze over me, my hopeful mood slowly souring into contempt, I had time to wonder about what happened to that kid who used to love the Teen Sex Comedies. Growing up in the mid-80s, there were two sub-genres that churned out a seemingly endless deluge of product: the slasher movie and the teen sex comedy.
My friends and I devoured 'em all. From The First Turn On to The Last American Virgin, from Private Lessons to Private School. My Tutor and My Chaueffeur had some Fast Times at Ridgemont High, started Losin' It, did some Homework and got into a little Mischief. Screwballs, Porky's, Hardbodies...
...and on and on. So why was it that someone weaned on the finest slob comedies could not find the humor in something as slipshod and juvenile as Eurotrip?
It's probably for the same reason that I never watch any of those old movies anymore: they're just terrible. (Fast Times notwithstanding, obviously.)
It's rare to find an eight-letter movie title that's capable of describing the film's entire plot, but Eurotrip accomplishes just that; it's about four teenagers who wander through Europe. The experience will cost you eight bucks and 80-some minutes. In return for your efforts you'll receive four or five broad and obvious set-pieces that wouldn't make the cut on Mad TV. And that's saying something.
In an obvious effort to include just enough sex to fill the trailers and TV spots with, Eurotrip features material of a frank and vulgar nature. It's too bad that frankess and vulgarity don't automatically result in effective comedy. Eurotrip is the sort of movie that considers French Kissing Between Siblings as the pinnacle of all things hilarious. And what's NOT funny about a guy having a sex toy jammed up his ass?
Eurotrip is virtually bereft of laughs (and criminally wasteful of young actress Michelle Trachtenberg), and this only serves to highlight the scattershot direction by a trio of former sitcom joke-writers. (You write the screenplay for The Cat in the Hat and your reward is getting to direct Eurotrip? Is this Bizzaro World?) Schaffer clearly hopes that the exotic European settings will overshadow his ham-fisted approach to even the most simplistic dialogue scene; the faceless performers (save for the slumming Ms. Trachtenberg) mutter through their one-dimensional schtick with an air of bored indifference. Only Matt Damon, in a wacko cameo role, brings any life to the whole desperate affair. Logically, he vanishes after the first 12 minutes.This one's so laughless, so charmless, and so resoundingly amateurish that one wonders why it doesn't carry a "National Lampoon Presents" in front of the title.