movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Wikipedia link (film)] [Wikipedia link (book)] [Official Site] Hayden Panettiere theme night! We watched this, and then Heroes.

PLOT SUMMARY: Geek valedictorian proclaims love for head cheerleader in graduation speech. Utter chaos and violence ensues. Epic caper.

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a geek named Denis,
who was the very opposite of a menace.
He had a crush for 5 yrs;
finally faced his fears;
Ultimately resulting in a kiss.
[Yeah, it’s not an exact rhyme, sorry, don’t feel like spending a lot of time on these. If someone can come up with a better one, they are more than welcome to…]

HAIKU REVIEW: Beth Cooper causes
class valedictorian
to get in trouble.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Jealous cokehead beats the shit out of overly honest geek.

PEOPLE: The main stars are Hayden Panettiere (Claire from Heroes) and Paul Rust (Inglourious Bastards, and a writer for 1 episode each of Human Giant and Moral Orel). Co-stars include Jack Carpenter, Lauren London, Lauren Storm (TV actress) as the dumb girl, and Shawn Roberts (Rogue’s boyfriend in X-Men 1) as the douchebag. And a brief (“your nipples are so weird!”) role by Andrea Savage, who was in the funny comedy Step Brothers.

And TV buffs will recognize Cynthia Stevenson as Hope Davidson from the 35-episode NBC sitcom “Hope & Gloria” (1995-1996). She will also be in the upcoming flick Jennifer’s Body, which will feature Magan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in a full-on tongue kiss. But I digress. It was weird seeing Cynthia Stevenson‘s face again after over 10 yrs!

Directed by Chris Columbus (Adventures In Babysitting, Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone/Chamber Of Secrets, Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone 2.)

QUIRKS: Based on a novel written by Larry Doyle, one of the writers of The Simpsons (Girly Edition, Treehouse Of Horror 9, Wild Barts Can’t BE Broken, Pygmoelian, Worst Episode Ever, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge), Beavis & Butt-head (Choke, Nosebleed, Bad Dog, Final Judgment Of Beavis, Butt Flambe, Liar! Liar!, Safe Driving), and Daria (Too Cute). Though really, he only made the novel because he couldn’t get it made into a movie first. (Reminds me of how The Fountain was a movie, then a graphic novel, then a movie based on the graphic novel.)

Your standard will-the-geek-get-the-girl high school story, told as a graduation night caper full of “Saturday night adventure” (though it might not have been Saturday in the movie, I think you catch my drift).

You get graduation speeches, unrequited love, bitchy cheerleaders, 18 year old male virgins, graduation parties, cow tipping, coked-up douchebags on roid rage, underage drinking, shitty teenage driving, vehicles smashing through walls, sexuality under question, and social awkwardness. A lot of your standard high school movie tropes.

CLOSURE THAT’S IN THE BOOK AND NOT THE MOVIE: [highlight for spoilers] “In the book, there is a final fight at the cabin with Denis and Kevin. The girls throw stuffed animals at him to distract him enough to think Rich has a shotgun, but then it is revealed that the shotgun is fake. Kevin makes Denis row him out to the lake, to dump him in. He talks about how Beth is a slut. Denis knocks Kevin out with an oar. Kevin falls overboard, so Denis jumps in to save him. He performs CPR. The police come. Kevin wakes up, and attacks Denis again in front of the police. They arrest Kevin and his group. It’s revealed then that Denis is an accomplished swimmer and is in decent good shape for being kind of geeky. He and Beth make out. Then, at the very end, they didn’t see each other for the rest of the summer, but then one day they did, but by then Denis had grown 6 inches and packed on some muscle, and then it ends. Rich also says he didn’t much like being homosexual either, and is waiting for the next thing. Beth and Denis finally see each other a week before he intends to go off for school. Oh, and Beth was going to have sex with him at the cabin before Kevin showed up, but stopped when she found a hole in Denis’s underwear.”

VISUALS: The girls aren’t as hot as the girls in, say, Mean Girls or Jawbreaker. This does not apply to Hayden of course. She is as hot as ever. And has less competition with her hotness than in Heroes (where Kristen Bell and multiple-personality blonde compete with her).

MORALS: 1) Nice guys finish last. 2) Honesty can equal physical danger. 3) Cocaine is a bad drug. 4) Teenagers can’t drive.

BAD STUFF: I guess a lot of people are sick of these kinds of movies — but I never tire of this trash. This got a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 104 reviews. Tons of people have tons of complaints, but I just didn’t agree with them.

CONCLUSION: While generic in premise, I find that I can’t get tired of teen comedies, as comedy is my favorite genre and I feel like there are never enough comedy movies. I laughed out loud and had a great time watching the misadventures of Denis and his quest to get Beth Cooper. It may partially reflect on my mood that night, but I totally loved this, rating it 1 more star and 1 more IMDB point than Carolyn did.

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is IMDB: 5.0/10, Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (3.3/5 stars for people who rate like me). Netflix was wrong. I liked this better than average, not less than average!

RECOMMENDATION: A lot of people didn’t like this, for it to get a 5.0/10 on Netflix. If you are “forgiving” with movies, and are someone who likes teen comedies in general, you will probably at least find this passable. You might find it to be great. Or you might hate it. It’s a hard one to predict. If “saturday night adventures” are fun to you, you might like this.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Can’t Hardly Wait. Actually, this is similar to hundreds of movies.

MOVIE QUOTE: Rich Munsch: “You’re not alive unless you’re livin’.”

Mood: meh
Music: Dethklok – Murmaider II: The Water God