Eurotrip (2004) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: R for sexuality, nudity, language and drug/alcohol content
Running Time: 90 min.
Cast: Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, Michelle Trachtenberg, Travis Wester, Kristin Kreuk, Nial Iskhakov, Jessica Boehrs, Vinnie Jones, Matt Damon, Fred Armisen, Lucy Lawless
Director: Jeff Schaffer
Screenplay: Alec Berg, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer
Review published February 21, 2004
From the producers of the lowbrow hits Road Trip and Old School comes Eurotrip, yet another beers, bongs, and babes college comedy that has something to offend everyone. Not having liked the previously mentioned films, Eurotrip would seem a safe assumption to be another misfire of painfully inept proportions. Another reason to dread: the screenwriting trio of Berg, Mandel and Schaffer penned the misfire Mike Meyers' The Cat in the Hat, and Shaffer even directs this himself, his first time at the helm. Well, color me surprised; I actually found Eurotrip to be an entertaining diversion most of the time. While I won't go so far as to proclaim this to be a genuinely good film, it's actually pretty damned funny, and for a dumb comedy, it's often quite clever.
Mechlowicz (Mean Creek, Neverland) stars as Scotty, who finds himself without a girlfriend when she not only dumps him, but also reveals she has been unfaithful without remorse, and to make matters worse, her infidelity is proudly sung in an punk rock ode to the dirty deeds in front of the rest of his peers at a graduation party. Meanwhile, Scotty has been corresponding via e-mail with a German penpal named Mieke (Boehrs) that he mistakes to be a guy, and when Mieke offers to hook up with the newly unattached Scotty, he sends back an insulting response rebuking "his" advances. When Scotty later learns that Mieke is a girl, and in fact, very attractive, he writes back to explain but finds he is now blocked from any more emails to her. With the potential for love on his mind, he decides to take a chance for romance and head with his best bud Cooper (Pitts, aka "David Spade Jr.") to Berlin to meet the woman of his dreams, but low budget accommodations force them to have to take the "scenic route" via London, Paris, and several other tourist locations on the way.
Yes, it's a fairly flimsy excuse for a movie, and yes, it's evident that Scotty could have easily been able to use another email address to write Mieke back from the outset and save himself the cost and hassle, but of course, with a movie like this, it's probably not worth complaining about the contrived plot points. It's far from perfect, but where Schaffer and co. excel is at creating some very colorful situations for a likeable cast to get into trouble in, all with a good sense of visual and musical energy.
It's a very politically incorrect film, with some very broad stereotypes regarding the various European peoples and customs, but at the same time, the boldness of how far its willing to go in its rather good-natured ribbing also makes the material much more fun. From violent soccer-loving hooligans, Hitler youth, French mimes, kinky Amsterdam sex shops, overly amorous Italians, and desecrations at the Vatican, nothing is played for subtlety.
Obviously, this isn't a film for everyone, but if you like your comedies to aim low and hit hard, it's a worthwhile excursion for some zany escapism and a few belly laughs.
© 2004 Vince Leo