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
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.
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.
PG-13 - Parents
Some material may be
children under 13.