By Shawn McKenzie 02/23/2004
I don’t think I’ve seen a better example of the phrase “stop while you’re ahead” than I have with the movie Eurotrip. This movie managed to crack me up until the closing credits…but it was during those closing credits that I had a problem.
Scotty Thomas (Scott Mechlowicz) is a recent graduate from Hudson High School in Ohio. He is dating Fiona (Kristin Kreuk), but at the graduation ceremony, she suddenly dumps him. At a party afterwards, he finds out why: she’s been cheating on him with Donny (Matt Damon), the leader of a punk rock band that is playing at the party. Aside from his announcement on stage that they’ve been dating, he finds out details about their tryst in the song he sings, “Scotty Doesn’t Know” (which goes on to become a huge international hit.) Scotty’s best friend, Cooper Harris (Jacob Pitts), and fraternal twins Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Jamie (Travis Wester), think he should move on. The twins are set to go to Europe for the summer. Jenny is tired of being seen as one of the “guys” and desires to be treated like a woman for once, possibly by a handsome European guy. Jamie is an uptight geek who wants to go to Europe for educational reasons, and considers Frommer’s European Guide as his survivalist Bible. The only other person Scotty has is his German Internet pen pal Mieke (Jessica Böhrs), who he thinks is a guy, and “Mieke” is German for “Mike.” After he comes home from the party drunk and mad, he makes the mistake of responding nastily to Mieke’s offer to visit him in America. The next day, after he sobers up, Scotty’s younger brother Bert (Nial Iskhakov) points out that he made a mistake in his response to the hot blonde from Germany. Not understanding him, he explains that “Mieke” is the German equivalent of “Michelle,” not “Mike.” Scotty quickly tries to backpedal, but discovers that Mieke has blocked all of his email. Cooper convinces Scotty that he must travel to Europe to apologize in person and possibly win her back. Cooper decides to go with him, even though he has a summer job at a law firm. Scotty and Cooper pose as couriers (something I notice is never mentioned again after its initial set-up) and get to London, hoping they can then make it over to Germany. A run-in with Mad Maynard (Vinnie Jones) and his team of hooligan soccer players from Manchester United gets them to Paris at least, which is a suburb of Germany, according to Cooper. They meet up with the twins there, and the four friends try to make it to Germany. Along the way, they meet several colorful characters, like a robot mime (Pat Kilbane), a creepy Italian guy (Fred Armisen), several ugly naked men on a nude beach, and Madame Vandersexxx (Lucy Lawless), the owner of a sex shop in Amsterdam. Jenny meets the handsome European guy she was hoping to meet, a guy named Christophe (Patrick Rapold.) If everything goes right, Scotty will find Mieke and they will live happily ever after.
Going into the movie, I was worried. I did my usual research before the movie and I discovered something horrible: this was the directorial debut by the guy who co-wrote the horrible Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, Jeff Schaffer. Despite liking the trailer, I was preparing for this movie to suck. I was very glad to watch a very funny raunchy comedy, reminiscent of the great ones of the ‘80s, like Porky’s or Revenge of the Nerds. This was a feat accomplished last year by Todd Phillips with Old School. In fact, the trailer actually led me to believe that Phillips was involved in this one (he isn’t.) The only connection between the two movies is that Ivan Reitman’s production company produced them both. Also, it shares one word with Phillips’ previous movie, Road Trip (again, there is no connection between the films.)
Devious promotional aspects aside, the movie alone is extremely amusing. Pitts plays the perfect raunchy comedy sidekick, whose goal is always just to get laid. For some odd reason, his reasoning for tagging along with Scotty made sense. His theory is that prudes from Europe founded America, so everyone back in Europe is obviously sex crazy, and he wanted some of it. I don’t know…maybe it’s because I’m a young single guy, but that sounded right to me. Trachtenberg has certainly grown up from Harriet the Spy and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but I still couldn’t get little Dawnie out of my head, and I was half expecting Buffy to pop out and save her from a vampire. Damon’s cameo was short but memorable as well. I just wonder if he actually sang that song, because it was catchy.
Now…on to the point I was making at the beginning of this review. There was several parts that pushed the boundaries of the R-rating (the nude beach alone had more male full frontal nudity than some pornos), but it was never disturbing to me until the end credits. You know how some comedies show outtakes or bonus footage during the credits? One part involved a little girl doing something you don’t really want to see. It was a fake European commercial that was attempting to illustrate Cooper’s point that their commercials are wilder than ours are. I still can’t get the image out of my mind, and if I hadn’t seen it, it might have made for a perfect movie-going experience.
Eurotrip is the funniest movie of 2004 so far, but I recommend leaving before the credits roll. At the very least, turn away when Cooper mentions commercials. Otherwise, you and your friends will have a great time seeing hilarious sight gags and lots of good looking women naked (sorry gals, the naked men are kind of gross-looking.) Oh, I probably should warn any Catholics watching the movie…there are scenes in Rome that are a little disrespectful to the Pope. Aside from that, you’ll probably laugh along with your non-Catholic friends.
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