not one of those people who believe that Europeans hate Americans.
I've been there several times over the years and all the people I met were
extremely nice. However, if it is true that some people in Europe
dislike the "ugly Americans," you could probably blame it on things like
movie is just a long series of Euro-bashing stereotypes. The British are
football hooligans. The Italians are groping perverts. The
Germans are Nazis. Worst of all, the French are... gasp... mimes!
the meantime, the American kids are spectacularly dumb, loud and obnoxious.
They walk through some of the most magnificent cities in the world, not
noticing any of the scenery, speaking the languages or trying to interact with any of the locals.
Instead, they head straight to the nearest bar, hit on sexy women and drink
until they pass out. They may as well be in Poughkeepsie. Now don't get me wrong. I've gotten drunk
and tried to get laid in some pretty breathtaking places, but I usually took
the time to at least notice my surroundings while doing it. Of course,
this lack of appreciation may have something to do with the fact that the
movie was done on the cheap, filmed almost entirely in Prague, with
occasional stock footage of Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower to suggest we are
in other cities.
Scott Mechlowicz plays Scott, a guy from Ohio who is dumped by his gorgeous
girlfriend at high school graduation. I do have to admit, a scene
where a punkish singer (played by an unrecognizable tattooed and pierced
Matt Damon) sings a song about how he was sleeping with Scott's ex behind
his back is extremely funny.
Scott's best buddy is Cooper, a horndog who is constantly in search of cheap
booze and easy women. An early scene where Cooper tricks a girl into
taking off her bikini top by telling her she has a stain on her breast (not
the bikini top, mind you, but the actual breast) gives you an idea of the
film's level of respect for women. The fact that we are supposed to
believe she falls for it so easily tells us something, too.
course, the guys aren't rocket scientists either. Scott has been
having an e-mail correspondence with a girl named Mieke for a year and he
never figured out that she's the beautiful blonde girl in the picture rather
than the dorky German guy. When Mieke e-mails suggesting that they
meet, Scott thinks it's a gay man and shoots back an offensive reply telling
him to keep his hands off. Only then does Scott's little brother point
out that her e-mail's tenses suggest that it is a girl, and that Mieke is a
common German name like Michelle. Mieke is upset by the message and
blocks his e-mails. So instead of using a friend's account to write her and
explain the mix-up, Scott decides to fly to Europe on the spur of the moment
to find her. Cooper decides to go along for the ride because he
believes Europe is decadent.
While in Europe they meet up with two friends from home, a brother and
sister pair of twins named Jamie and Jenny (apparently they have those
annoying parents who give twins alliterative rhyming names.) Jamie is
a brilliant, uptight boy, who actually seems to be the only one of the group
who knows anything about the cities they visit. But, of course, the
brains cover up a social awkwardness. So, as it goes in these movies,
he is the one who score first, with a hot photo shop employee. It is a
running gag that they think of Jenny as one of the guys, but it is kind of
weak. Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is way
too attractive for any guy to not notice that she's a girl. Finally,
towards the end, Cooper does seem to discern that she has breasts and
jokingly asks her to get naked. This passes for true love in this
Eurotrip is actually sort of very dumb fun in some of these scenes.
But it ends on a spectacularly weird note; when the group has to go to the
Vatican and stop Mieke before she goes off on a semester at sea.
Through a group of incredibly unlikely and strained coincidences, Scott and
Cooper mistakenly make all of the world believe that the Pope has died and
that Scott has been named the new Pope. I'm not Catholic, so it didn't
offend me. However, even I had to think that with all the health
problems he's had in recent years, maybe the dead Pope jokes are in really
Eurotrip a horrible film? No, but they don't seem to care
enough to make it a particularly good one, either. In
the long run, the main question from anyone going to this genre of films is,
"was the gratuitous nudity worth sitting through the rest of the story?"
Even on their own low scale, the answer was "just barely." The people
who really want to see Eurotrip might as well wait for it to come out
as the inevitable special unrated DVD, which will undoubtedly add a few seconds of
titillation. Anyone who really wants to see a thoughtful movie about young
people finding love in Europe should wait until Richard Linklater's
Before Sunset comes out in June.
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Posted: March 13, 2004.