10 August 2004

Euro Trip: Unrated

Recent high school grad, Scotty Thomas spontaneously heads to Europe with his best friend, Cooper to find Scotty's gorgeous German pen pal, Mieke. After meeting up with twin pals, Jenny and Jamie in Paris, the four take the the most roundabout, horomone-driven route to Berlin, including stops at a nude beach, an Amsterdam sex club, and East Germany.

For a movie who's biggest selling point is that it's made by the same horny men of Road Trip, I wasn't expecting much. With all the frontal female and male nudity, one would think that the filmmakers were trying to distract from a really crappy movie. To my great surprise, if you get beyond all the gratuitous nudity of the "Unrated" DVD, you'll find a hilarious teen comedy definitely worth viewing.

The movie features a charming group of unknown young actors who portray more than just your typical group of sex crazy teens. They're sex crazy teens with heart? Resembling a cuter, younger version of the guy who played Ed (the NBC show, not the talking horse) Scott Mechlowicz is very appealing as the romantic, yet horny Scotty Thomas who earnestly treks across Europe in search of his greatest hookup, and perhaps even, the love of his life. Cooper Harris, Scotty's wisecracking, horndog best friend, played by Jacob Pitts, is standard teen movie fare, but funny nonetheless. Travis Wester as Jamie, the horny, uptight, know-it-all could have gotten annoying pretty quickly, until I realized how useful know-it-alls are. I even got over the slow-mo bikin shots of the seemingly pre-pubescent, and of course, horny Jenny, played by Michelle Trachtenberg of Harriet the Spy fame, after realizing that she can pull off smart and sassy.

Perhaps even more memorable are the crazy cameos: Kristin Kreuk as Shallow Ex-Girlfriend, Matt Damon as Punk Singer, Lucy Lawless as the Dominatrix, and my personal favorite, SNL's Fred Armissen as Sketchy Italian Guy. Even David Hasselhoff gets a little screen time -- in German!

Euro Trip is rife with European stereotypes (crazy Brit football fanatics, anti-American Frenchman, lecherous Italians), but manages to be both irreverent and affectionate towards Europe. Just when the political incorrectness becomes border line offensive, the movie momentarily overturns a European stereotype. But, then, Fred Armissen comes back on screen as the lecherous Italian man or Scotty becomes the new Pope, and you laugh your butt off while shaking your head in shame.

What I appreciated most was the film's random humor and subtlety. For starters, the artistry of the graphics was quite a pleasant surprise. Pay attention to the opening credits, a clever parody of an airline safety manual. The transitional graphics between scenes and European destinations is reminiscent of the stuff done on Home Improvement and is also worth a good look. Another random highlight, where the screenwriters and mind-altering substances come to mind, is a face-off between Scotty and a Parisian street performer. Boasting a surprising repetoire of robot moves, Scotty skillyfully brings it and shows up the silver-faced "robot." And finally, I can't forget the riotous homage to Hitler. I'm not going to say more. You just have to watch the movie.

I expected to hate this movie, but I really did enjoy it. I mean, don't get me wrong. It's still crap, but it's also hilarious crap.

My Recommendation: Despite the over the top "Unrated" gimmicks, rent it. If you're only interested in the T & A & Penis, you should probably buy the video. No one wants to borrow that video after you're done with it.

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