Pretty Cool Too (2007) / Comedy-Fantasy
aka Pocket Girl: Pretty Cool Too
aka Pretty Cool 2
MPAA Rated: R for sexual content, crude humor, nudity and language
Running time: 89 min.
Cast: Eric Fagundes, Julia Lehman, Brandi Williams, James Ferris, Angela Dodson, Jennifer Day, Robert Donovan, Sierra Edwards, Joy Giovanni, Tiffany Shepis, Kristyn Green, Kristin Novak, Jim Patneaude
Director: Rolfe Kanefsky
Screenplay: Rolfe Kanefsky
Review published July 29, 2007
Pretty Cool Too is not so much a sequel to writer-director Kanefsky's minor straight-to-video hit, Pretty Cool, so much as it is a regurgitation of the same ideas (though the heart necklace/headband combo makes a cameo appearance). Here we have yet another graduating high school senior, Walter Buckell (Fagundes), whose gift from his parents includes a newfangled cell phone that is revealed to have a Guidance Navigational Expert (GNE, or Genie), represented in its display in the form of an attractive woman in full-motion video (Brandi Williams, co-host of "The Ultimate Poker Challenge"). As he begins to use his device, he finds that it has the unique ability to emit a series of notes that induce hypnotic signals that can cause anyone who hears them to do exactly as he commands. He immediately sets to use these powers on his bullying brother (Ferris, Pirates of Treasure Island), his hot babe girlfriend, and the various scantily-clad women next door appearing on the sexy reality show, "The Playpen".
Whereas Pretty Cool seemed much more a throwback to the days of the teen sex comedies of the 1980s, Pretty Cool 2 is more of the modern, post-American Pie variety, involving raunchier sex gags, embarrassing situations, and higher levels of gross-out humor. If the first film resembled Zapped!, this one is a bit more on the Weird Science side, with its sexy Genie granting the wishes of her adolescent master, embodying everything he thinks he wants in a woman. The execution of the gags is also reminiscent of the adult video game series, "Leisure Suit Larry", with its protagonist always out to get laid from any of the assortment of hot women in his sights, looking like he's on the verge of finally getting some, then inevitably coming up short.
Although it delivers the goods for those looking for a no-frills flick with lots of hot women in various states of undress, cheesy laughs, and not a trace of seriousness around, Pretty Cool Too falls short of its predecessor in delivering the right mix of innocent fun and good-natured slapstick. It does confirm Kanefsky's talent for quality casting of comedic actors who also have the looks to be in a sex comedy, and in drawing out solid performances out of those who have little or no previous experience in films. Just as Amy Brassette proved to be the scene stealer in the first film, that award should rightfully go to Sierra Edwards, who plays Leslie, the stepmother of the "girl next door" best friend, Agatha (Lehman). Through an early demonstration, Leslie must do everything her stepdaughter says, whether directed to her or not, and watching her continuously perform completely random things that happen to be uttered, mostly unintentionally, by Agatha, is increasingly amusing.
Pretty Cool Too is energetic and has a few humorous moments, but it isn't quite as fun as it could have been. It gets bogged down in the mechanics of its device, exploring different permutations for which Walter must figure out ways to get others under his phone's spell, which lessens the momentum. Even the gags are a bit complicated, such as when Walter hypnotizes every member of "The Playpen" to do some random embarrassing thing when triggered (one woman touches her boobs when money is mentioned, another gets wildly horny when the word "in" is mentioned and is turned off when it's the word "out", etc.) -- none are particularly funny, and given how little character development there is, it's beyond the worth of the mental energy required to keep track of who each woman is and the nature of her trigger when there is little comedic payoff.
It also lacks its predecessor's goofier, less obnoxious side, as the balance between innocuous teen comedy and adult humor is shifted far more heavily on the latter. It's cruder, lewder, ruder, and languishes far more in easy, sleazy and cheesy sex and potty humor to get laughs. The first film in the series was nothing groundbreaking, but in an era when teen comedies grew more and more disgusting in their approach to comedy, it seemed to be a refreshing homage to a more innocent time for R-rated teen fare. Pretty Cool Too lacks that approach, suffering from being too much like the rest of the pack in terms of current releases, and though not without humor value, it never delivers in inspiration or sustained bits of farce.
Kanefsky continues making inventive low-budget comedies with a certain comedic flair, but unfortunately, Pretty Cool Too is too limited by its own incessant rule-adherence, predictability, and crassness. If the first film delivered laughs despite its derivativeness, this one offers mostly derivativeness without building truly funny shtick off of the many ideas borrowed from others.
©2007 Vince Leo