Movie Reviews

Eurotrip

Reviewed by: Edward Douglas
Rating: 7 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Euro TripCast:
Scott Mechlowicz as Scott Thomas
Jacob Pitts as Cooper Harris
Kristin Kreuk as Fiona
Nial Iskhakov as Bert
Michelle Trachtenberg as Jenny
Travis Wester as Jamie
Vinnie Jones as Mad Maynard
Fred Armisen as Creepy Italian Guy
Diedrich Bader as Mugger
Predrag Bjelac as Italian Guy at Vatican
Jessica Böhrs as Mieke
Michael Cella as Hooligan
John Comer as Hooligan
Steve Hytner as Green Fairy
Petr Jakl as Gunter
Patrick Malahide as Arthur Frommer
J.P. Manoux as Robot Man
Jack Marston as Pope
Pat Kilbane as American Robot Guy
Joel Kirby as Swiss Guard

Story:
Scott Thomas (Mechlowicz) is a chronic loser whose slutty girlfriend (Kristin "Smallville" Kreuk) dumps him on graduation day. Not only that, but when his overly friendly German pen pal "Mike" offers his sympathy, Scott gets freaked out, not realizing that the "male" penpal is actually a gorgeous German girl named "Mieke". Realizing his mistake, Scott decides to travel to Europe with his best friend Cooper (Jacob Pitts), and Jenny and Jamie, a brother and sister who could very well be the worst twins ever. Wherever they go, whether it be England, France or Holland, they get into all sorts of bad situations.

What Worked:
Written and directed by "Seinfeld" vets Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer, Eurotrip at first seems like another retread of the tasteless sex comedy formula, that we've seen so many times since the success of American Pie. Sure, there are plenty of sex jokes in the movie, but what makes this offbeat comedy different is that it's more retro, reminding one of National Lampoon's classic Vacation movies from the 80's,

Although some of the funniest gags are given away in the commercials and trailer, the movie does take these jokes further than one can imagine. You can't help but laugh at the irreverent humor that spoofs the European countries and what they are best known for, and while some of it could be considered offensive, you can't deny that the jokes are funny. Very funny. As hard as you might try to fight it, you'll eventually end up in tears from some of the outrageous things that you see in the movie. By the time the quartet gets to the Vatican, you just know that there's going to be trouble, because the movie never holds back or pulls punches.

The funniest jokes in the movie revolve around the outlandish characters that the four teens meet during their travel. Fred Armisen is a hilarious as an amorous train passenger who gets a bit frisky with the guys every time they pass through a tunnel. His appearance marks the turning point in the movie from being merely amusing to out and out hilarity. The other star cameos are also a lot of fun, with "Smallville's" Lana Lang as Scotty's unfaithful girlfriend, Lucy "Xena, Warrior Princess" Lawless as a Dutch dominatrix and Vinnie Jones as a football hooligan.

The four main players aren't very funny of themselves, but their reaction to these characters and situations helps the jokes work. Of the four, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Michelle Trachtenberg is absolutely adorable as the cuter of the two twins, but she offers a lot more than being the typical cute girl in skimpy outfits. Somehow, she manages to channel the female angst of Dana Hill's Audrey Griswold from the Vacation movies, making her the most effective of the four young actors.

Guys will enjoy the plethora and variety of female breasts on display in Eurotrip. The writers give this type of movie's horny male audience plenty of fodder, but when the guys find themselves on a nude beach, the rug is pulled from under your feet. Most guys (and women) will probably be disgusted by the endless sea of naked old men who leave nothing to the imagination, but you can't help but laugh at how you were tricked.

Scotty's quest for true love with his German penpal is surprisingly heart-warming and sweet, considering the rather mean nature of the rest of the movie. Although that whole subplot isn't particularly believable, it does help to temper all of the tasteless jokes.

One recurring gag is also one of the movie's best hooks. Early on in the movie, the rocker boyfriend of Scotty's ex goes so far as to write a song about his infidelities with her called "Scotty Doesn't Know". It's a catchy song that is repeated throughout the movie, much to Scotty's embarrassment and our amusements. The rest of the soundtrack revolves around this tune. The soundtrack does use the typical post-American Pie formula of modern rock, but it also mixes in cool 80's Europop like versions of Nena's "99 Luftballons" and Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi". It all helps add to the fun romp.

It's worth sticking through to the very end of the movie, since the outtakes during the end credits are hilarious, really driving home the humor of some of the movie's funniest scenes.

What Didn't Work:
Except for Trachtenberg and the cameo appearances, the young unknown cast is nothing special. Each of the four plays a normal teen comedy stereotype, with Scott playing the typical Freddie Prinze Jr type nice guy loser. Of the four, Jacob Pitts is the only attempt at "comic relief" as Scotty's sex-crazed idiot friend. His schtick is such an obvious rip-off from David Space that it's hard to not make comparisons, and he's not nearly as funny. He's so obviously a rip-off of David Spade that they should have done anything to avoid comparisons. He just doesn't have the comic presence of a Tom Green or a Jack Black, so the only gags that work are when bad things seem ready to happen to him.

Not all of the jokes work and not all of them are funny enough to get laughs. Some are just dumb, like Scotty's "robot battle" in Paris or the football hooligan sequence, which felt like something we've seen in far too many other travel comedies.

A lot of the plot is highly unbelievable and the women get the short end of the stick as they're mainly air-headed bimbos who take off their tops at the drop of the hat. While that nude beach scene is just plain wrong, it does make up for the sexist way women are treated throughout the movie.

The Bottom Line:
While not the funniest movie of this genre-that honor probably goes to Old School--Eurotrip is pretty damn funny, and the irreverent humor offers enough gut busting laughs to make it a worthwhile and entertaining comedy, despite the weak cast. With another movie like this one, Schaeffer, Mandel and Berg could be on their way to becoming comedy giants like the Farrelly Brothers.

Eurotrip opens nationwide this Friday. (Thanks to Edward Havens at filmjerk.com.)

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