Eurotrip works through juvenile humor to give
“Eurotrip” is almost the total opposite of the week’s other mainstream comedic release, “Welcome to Mooseport.” Whereas the big-budget, conservative “Mooseport” put all its funny scenes into a decent preview, “Eurotrip” had one of the worst trailers of the year and a tagline (“No actual Europeans were harmed during the making of this film”) that would make any reasonable person over the age 16 want to run screaming.
To make matters worse, “Eurotrip” was advertised as being from the producers of “Road Trip” and “Old School.” But writer/director Todd Phillips had jumped ship to work on the very promising “Starsky and Hutch.” It appeared that the producers were simply trying to sucker people who didn’t know any better into seeing a sub-par film.
However unexpectedly, the producers have discovered writers of considerable comedic talent. Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg and David Mandel deserve a lot of credit. Although they did write the universally-panned “The Cat in the Hat,” they are gifted writers who perfected their craft on shows such as “Seinfeld,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” There are numerous moments of creativity that one would not expect from a juvenile teen comedy such as this.
The film centers on high school senior Scotty (Scott Mechlowicz) who is dumped by his girlfriend at his high school graduation. Insult is added to injury as his embarrassment is immortalized in song (“Scotty Doesn’t Know”) by his girlfriend’s rock-star boyfriend.
When Scott finds out that his German pen pal, Mike, is actually Mieke, a stunningly beautiful girl, he and best friend Cooper (Jacob Pitts) decide to escape their problems and head off to Europe in search of good times and good women.
Further camaraderie is supplied by high school friends and fraternal twins Jamie (Travis Wester) and Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg), whom they meet in Paris. Wacky antics ensue as the four wander around Europe with the hopes of eventually getting to Berlin.
For the most part, the film had no stars and no real plot. It was basically just an excuse for some ridiculous gags and scenes. The surprising thing was that a very high number of the scenes are really funny.
Highlights include Vinnie Jones leading a crew of crazed Manchester United soccer hooligans, Scott Mechlowicz turning what could have been a disastrous scene into a masterpiece of physical comedy in a slow-motion, kung-fu battle with a French street mime, a nude beach scene with more male frontal nudity than should ever be seen that turns into a riff on zombie movies, and a dominatrix who tortures Cooper in an Amsterdam establishment called Club VanDerSexxx.
The film also has several small but clever touches that lesser films would not have bothered to include. After Scott makes a map of Europe on the dinner table using various food and dish items as countries, for the rest of the film, the group’s travels are illustrated using this same impromptu map as a reference. The demented toy monkey in the background of Club VanDerSexxx was also pure genius.
Even if a few jokes, such as the ones involving the Pope and a child lampooning Hitler seem forced, this isn’t enough to destroy the film’s momentum.
The film doesn’t apologize for having a weak structure. In fact “Eurotrip” supports my theory that the funniest part of a film is often when the writers are able to use unbridled creativity before they are restricted by the plot. It is usually towards the end of the film when they are forced to tie the movie together that the laughs peter out.
“Eurotrip” has the potential to be an underground cult favorite. Starring, written and directed by guys you’ve never heard of, “Eurotrip” is not a complete fluke. The writers and stars, at least in the long run, should have a promising future.