Written & Directed By: Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg & David Mandel
Cinematography By: David Eggby
Editor: Roger Bondelli
Cast: Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, Michelle Trachtenberg, Travis Wester, Fred Armisen, Kristen Kruek, Lucy Lawless, Joanna Lumley, Vinnie Jones, Diedrich Bader, Matt Damon, Jessica Boehrs, Rade Serbedzija, Steve Hytner, Pat Kilbane, Jana Pallaske
When Scotty’s German online pen pal suggests they meet, he initially freaks out. But then he discovers that she’s gorgeous, and heads out with three friends after graduation to meet her. As they travel across Europe, the four friends have comical misadventures.
This film seems to want to be a satire of the thought of traveling to Europe and the myths in American Teenagers’ minds about urban legends they have heard of the place. Not to mention adults, but here more inspired by the carnal and drugs. While also trying to be an AMERICAN PIE inspired 1980’s teen movie.
This is definitely a movie of its time as it seems kind of lost though wants to put a spin on that common theme of a trip to a foreign land before you buckle down for the future. A familiar coming of age cliche for movies and sometimes in life. This movie isn’t aimed to witness profound discoveries while expanding the character’s minds, but more in comedic stereotypes and culture-clash comedy.
Where half the time the film seems more aimed at sex and drug humor with not as much nudity as one would think but does have enough nudity as a requirement.
The film has inspired moments that seem to be episodic depending on the country or region they are Into and combined. With some guest starring recognizable actors.
One of whom Fred Armisen totally steals his scenes in an all too brief Role. That works best in the small dose offered.
It seeks to try and break or push taboos that sometimes work but also come off as trying to be too eager in their aim. The film isn’t sincere enough to feel original but ends up feeling like it achieves what it set out for. As it is a teen comedy that is more juvenile but gives enough to its audience to be satisfying.
In a way, the film feels like ideas that were for an AMERICAN PIE sequel if Jim had pursued the exchange student Nadia back to Russia and the hijinks that would have ensued only without the same characters.
The film has the 90’s and 2000 equivalent of a teen sex comedy where like sometimes in reality sex and nudity is talked about more than experienced or shown.
The film’s popularity is helped by the catchy tune and a kind of unofficial anthem SCOTTY DOESN’T KNOW. which plays a pivotal role early in the film and throughout.
While the teen cast is mixed In With the hijinks. The other characters the adult ones do most of the comedic heavy lifting. As the teen cast does get involved but they more react to the cause of any comedy. As naive Americans who are at times ugly Americans inadvertently.
Michelle Trachtenberg at the time is the only real recognizable member of the main ensemble cast. This seems to be a film or Role that was more designed to break her out more into sexy adult roles. As at times, she is meant to be funny and eye candy at the same time.
This is a film that didn’t make much of a mark when it came out but over the years has gained an audience of appreciation. Maybe because of it trying to be a riff of inspiration that wasn’t appreciated in its own time so the next generation raises it to a certain level and can take ownership of it. Especially when it has so many noteworthy actors who cameo out of nowhere and seem to be relieved to be given freedom and room To break out of their more Cooke cutter and wholesome roles they are used to playing on television and movie teen roles that were more on the PG-13 roles.
The film plays more episodic and reminds one of the film National Lampoon’s European Vacation with the wild vast comedic stereotypes the film plays into that could also help sell to foreign audiences showing they have a sense of humor about themselves. As the film is over the top and as the characters are so young they try not to be but end up becoming the ugly Americans. By the end, though the film seems to have sex on its mind more than anything else.