Teen Sex Comedy of the Week: EuroTrip
January 27, 2007
As a genre, the teen sex comedy is unmatched in its ability to satisfy society’s cravings for ribald laughs, gross-out guffaws, screwball antics, and soft-core sex scenes featuring aspiring Hollywood starlets (or at least brief nudity). It’s also a wonderful showcase of acting talent; the genre has launched the careers of Oscar Winners and nominees (Sean Penn, Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Tom Hulce, Animal House; Johnny Depp, Private Resort), sitcom superstars (Kim Catrell, Porky’s; Scott Baio, Zapped!), Madison Avenue Boutique owners (Phoebe Cates, Fast Times at Ridgemont High), and stars of lesser Woody Allen movies (Jason Bates, American Pie). But the good teen sex comedy is almost as mythic and rare as the Dodo bird. High hopes are easily dashed by mediocre second and third acts (see, or don’t see, Pledge This!; Slackers), and potentially stand-out films are wrecked by the need to integrate a plot (Accepted-which was good, but had the potential to be great). In this feature, we here at Yesterday’s Salad hope to honour some of the teen sex comedies that do succeed in winning laughs, and brightening lives. It also gives me an excuse for renting so many bad sex comedies from NetFlix.
Today’s teen sex comedy is EuroTrip. The inaugural movie was to be Private Resort, but I recently rewatched EuroTrip with Jen and Kwame, and the movie is fresh in my mind. EuroTrip tells the story of four friends who travel to Europe the summer after high school, in search of self-discovery and true love. And crazy European sex. I’ve devised a sureproof, scientifically tested set of criteria for evaluating the movies: cast/creative team; comedy quotient; plausibility of plot; nudity/sexual hijinks; and the “X” Factor, including, but not limited to, celebrity cameos, unbelievable scenes, and quotability.
Cast and Creators (3.5/5)
Alas, there’s unlikely to be a future Oscar winner or superstar in the bunch. The most likely candidate is Harriet the Spy herself, Michelle Trachtenberg, who ably plays the slightly tomboyish Jenny. Lead actor Scott Mechlowicz does a fine job as Scotty, and the other principals are good. The minor characters (especially Jeffrey Tambor as Scotty’s father, and Lucy Lawless as a dominatrix) are all very funny. The writing is the movie’s biggest strength. All three writers were veterans of Seinfeld (writing such episodes as “The Puerto Rican Day,” and “The Chicken Roaster”) and today work on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The three writers proved themselves to be well versed in the genre.
Comedy Quotient (4/5)
EuroTrip is quite funny. The movie has well structured jokes, running gags, comedic set pieces, and well-placed one dimensional characters to provide comic relief. The movie bears repeat viewing, as the script abounds with small, easily missable gems. It’s one of the film’s great strengths that dialogue whose sole purpose is to advance the plot is often quite funny. Also, Cooper, the best friend character, has some very Georgian moments, betraying the writers’ Seinfeld background.
Plausibility of Plot (2.5/5)
Completely collapses in the last act. Early on, the movie seems unlikely, but not implausible. Nothing is believable once our heroes get to a Rome, an unfortunate situation that takes us out of the movie.
Nudity/ Sexual Hijinks (2/5)
Most of the nudity in EuroTrip is comedic (the “Happy Djus” commercial), rather than lightly erotic. If not for the early hot-tub scene, the movie would have probably only merited a 1. Btw, “nudity,” as used here, is female nudity. Were we measuring male nudity, the movie would surely have scored a 5. I don’t believe there has ever been as much penis in a mainstream movie.
“X” Factor (5/5)
With great celebrity cameos, and a theme song that’s both really funny, catchy, and integral to the plot (“Scotty Doesn’t Know”), EuroTrip earns a perfect score in the X factor. Between the robot, Vinnie Jones, and the Italian guy, the movie is filled with the little moments that make you want to watch it a second time (or a 5th).