I know, I know, the trailer looks supremely dumb, so why go see this movie? Certainly not because it was from the people who gave us such gems as Road Trip or Old School, that's for sure, and it's not like I even recognized anyone in the cast (other than Michelle Trachtenberg, best known as Buffy's little sister Dawn). I guess I went because I found the trailer mildly amusing and I still had $9 on an AMC gift card that I had been given for Christmas. I've seen movies with less provocation, I suppose.
Eurotrip follows the adventures of four teens, Scott (Scott Mechlowitz), Cooper (Jacob Pitts), and twins Jamie (Travis Wester) and Jenny (Trachtenberg) as they backpack around Europe between high school graduation and beginning college. There's sort of a plot driving the film as Scott wants to meet up with his e-mail pen pal Mieke (Jessica Boehrs), whom he thought was male but finds out is actually a very attractive female. But really the movie is an excuse to have fun with typical American Euro-stereotypes.
Naturally the four fresh-faced kids get into all sorts of hijinks as they make their way through London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and so on. And the foursome are your basic group: Scott is the well-meaning lead, Cooper the sarcastic wise-ass, Jamie the uptight planner and Jenny - well, my first indication that this wouldn't be a typical dumb teen comedy was when the other three guys all treat Jenny as one of the guys, and of course she's uber-cute Trachtenberg. They repeatedly refuse to think of her as a girl despite the filmmakers really showing off Trachtenberg's budding assets, which continues to play as funny through most of the film.
It may sound hard to believe, but I don't think I have ever laughed as hard or as long at another film as I did at this one. Maybe it's because my expectations were pretty low, but this was a hysterically funny film. From the opening moments where Scott is dumped by slutty girlfriend Fiona (Smallville's Kristin Kreuk, in a terrific cameo) to the very end of the film, I pretty much laughed the entire 90 minutes. Not only is there clever verbal play and uproarious sight gags (the arrival at Bratislava was so funny I almost fell out of my seat laughing), but the writers were masters of the recurring gag - the best of which is a song about Scott's breakup with Fiona (it makes sense in the film) constantly popping up as they travel throughout Europe. One particular scene involving English soccer hooligans traveling to France (led by the smashing Vinnie Jones) had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face.
Everyone gives a game performance. Scott Mechlowitz is perfect as Scott, with just the right mix of leading man humor and straight guy stiffness. Jacob Pitts' Cooper is surprisingly low key for the smart-ass; usually this kind of character is way over the top, but Cooper manages to be funny without ever taking it too far. Travis Webster plays his nerdly Jamie well; we never look down on the guy, even though he's the more uptight one in the group. And Trachtenberg seems right at home being one of the guys even while attempting to transform herself into an object of teenage lust. The cameos - Matt Damon as a punk singer, Lucy Lawless as a Dominatrix, Kreuk, and so on - are all well cast and well used. You'll recognize a lot of the bit players from other places (Guy Ritchie films, SNL, etc) but they all work very well.
I didn't expect this film to be so repeatedly and exceptionally funny, and I guess it caught me off guard. I can't recall laughing this hard at any film in the last five years, and maybe ever. I hesitate to call it the funniest movie I've ever seen, because I've seen some great comedies, but I was still chuckling at this film more than a half hour after I was out of the theater. As far as movies performing above expectations this is one of the tops in that category. I guess some people would be put off by the European stereotypes, but the film was so inventively humorous and excessively clever
(they do a great parody of the Indiana Jones 'moving around the map' bit) that I was blown away. This is a movie I fully intend to see again, maybe a few times, and I'm already clearing off space for it on the DVD shelf. But don't take my word for it - go see it yourself and see one of the funniest movies in years.
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