Eurotrip
review by Elias Savada, 27 February 2004

"No Europeans were harmed in the making of this film."

Oh, that's supposed to be funny?

Tell that to the 982 Frenchmen, 533 Germans, and 24 Italians who died of acute uglyamericanitis watching this drivel at preview screenings last month. None of them were teenagers.

And that youth market is exactly where the makers of Eurotrip expect the fewest casualties, an R-rated T&A teaser (for sexuality, nudity, language and drug/alcohol content) from the producers of Road Trip and Old School. But not the director, Jeff Schaffer, a first time helmer who slaps together four Hudson High (Ohio) School graduates, raging libidos, rabid English soccer hooligans, robot mimes, a torture-obsessed dominatrix (Lucy Lawless), nude beaches, hot-to-trot married Europeans, kinky sex, sausage jokes, a "Creepy Italian Guy" (SNL underling Fred Armisen), an absinthe-green fairy pixie, and the pope (nothing's sacred) in a cross-continent expedition of mythically nonsensical, albeit good-natured, proportions.

The springboard is Scotty Thomas (Scott Mechlowicz), one love-struck lad who has fallen head over internet heels for one bodacious German blonde-haired babe, Mieke (Jessica Boehrs) after apparently being unceremoniously dumped at graduation by trampy sweetheart Fiona (Kristn Kreuk) for a hunky rock singer (Matt Damon, oh my god), who warbles a snappy song ("Scotty Doesn't Know") about the dumpee's disposability. I guess Ben Folds' "Song for the Dumped" wasn't available.

Silly (and drunken) Scotty unfortunately thinks that Mieke is a Mike and thus a male cyber pen guy putting the whammy on him, hoping for some snuggle up, summer time boy-on-boy romance. Lo and behold, Mr. America is red-blooded heterosexual, and instead disses her in a ranting email, which leads to the breaking of screenwriting rule number 1. Writer/producers Schaffer, Alec Berg, and David Mandel (who screwed up, massively, translating Dr. Seuss's immortal classic The Cat in the Hat) have Mieke block Scotty's email address. Now kids (at least those in Eurotrip) may not be terribly smart, but nearly every person (even those in the Midwest) under 30 is well versed in traveling the world wide web. When Scotty hits the send button and later realizes his error (so much for getting in blondie's hot pants), he tells his bosom-obsessed buddy and soon-to-be traveling companion Cooper Harris (Jacob Pitts) that her phone number is unlisted and he's left only to pay a personal visit to Berlin to rectify the situation.

OK, bear me out. Mieke blocks ONE email address. Dummie Scotty doesn't think to use ANOTHER screen name to contact and apologize. Or send flowers, chocolates, or a new BMW? Maybe he's confusing mail blocking with spam filtering? That Mieke is now sending everything with the word Scotty in it to the junk heap? No, I think not. The whole premise for the movie just got shot down in Act One.

The two boys scrounge up enough money ($118) together to catch a plane as far as London, figuring to thumb a ride the rest of the way, and fill out a movie that would otherwise be quite a bit shorter. They team up with fellow h.s. mates Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg, a.k.a. Dawn, Buffy's sister on  Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and her up-tight twin brother Jamie (Travis Webster), wherein the quartet experience drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll as they attempt to wreck more embarrassment on Europe than humanly possible.

Along their travels I discovered screenwriting error number 2. Cooper has a cell phone that connects him with a law firm in Ohio where he is a paid intern. His boss believes the youngster is downstairs in the filing room. Right, and I have a bridge to sell you. The kid gets a call either late morning or early afternoon. Time difference between France and Ohio: six hours. So, say 2 PM French time equals 8 AM Ohio time. Ding, ding, ding! You do the math and tell me what lawyer is checking up on an intern that early in the morning.

Peppered by a hip soundtrack, and brief CGI sightseeing glimpses of London, Paris, Rome (where the Coliseum is miraculously around the corner from the Vatican!), Amsterdam, and beautiful (not!) downtown Bratislava (where poor Rade Serbedzija pops up as a taxi driver navigating the city's war-torn streets), Eurotrip was actually "filmed entirely on location in Prague" according to the press notes. The foursome do add a musketeer-like camaraderie to the blissfully short (92 minute) romp, but the premise is thin and the jokes relatively lame. If you want the real Europe, avoid Eurotrip and take a semester abroad.

Directed by:
Jeff Schaffer

Starring:
Scott Mechlowicz
Michelle Trachtenberg
Jacob Pitts
Travis Wester
Jessica Boehrs
Lucy Lawless
Jeff Tambor
Rade Serbedzija
Fred Armisen

Written by:
Jeff Schaffer
Alec Berg
David Mandel

Rated:
PG-13 - Parents
Strongly Cautioned.
Some material may be
inappropriate for
children under 13.

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