Behaving Badly

"Weak"

Behaving Badly Review


For a comedy that so desperately wants to be rude and sexy, this movie is remarkably timid. It does a great job putting up a front as an anarchic laugh riot, but the genuinely funny moments are few and far between. And it seems to have been written by sniggering teenage boys who can only imagine what it's like to experience sex, drugs and romance, but they haven't a clue, really. Thankfully, the starry cast makes it just about watchable.

With a drunken mom (Mary-Louise Parker) and a deadbeat dad (Cary Elwes), 17-year-old Rick (Nat Wolff) pretty much has to grow up on his own. Then over two fateful weeks everything starts going wrong. Just as he seems to be making progress with hot good-girl Nina (Selena Gomez), he gets caught in a drug deal with a strip-club manager (Dylan McDermott), the cops find a dead mobster in his car, and then everyone is arrested when a house party he throws turns into a drug-fuelled sex romp. Even more precarious for Rick is the fact that he has just lost his virginity to Pamela (Elisabeth Shue), who is both his mother's best friend and the mother of his best friend Billy (Lachlan Buchanan).

Yes, the script wallows in sex and drugs, but never seems quite sure what to do with them, shying away whenever anything remotely grown-up threatens to happen. Instead, scenes degenerate into corny broad comedy that feels more than a little desperate. Director Tim Garrick throws everything he can think of at the screen, so naturally a few gags stick. Even if the plot is paper-thin, and several of the jokes are beyond offensive (including gags hinging on both statutory and prison rape), there are also several witty zingers that elicit outright laughter. Such as when Nina remarks casually that her parents are away from home attending a pro-life gun rally in Dallas.

It helps that Wolff and Gomez are the only ones on-screen who play it straight. This lends a bit of pathos to their shallow romance. And it leaves the real wackiness to pros Shue, Parker, McDermott and Graham (as a sexbomb lawyer), plus the likes of Jason Lee's transgressive priest and Patrick Warburton's blustering principal. So for a bit of foul-mouth fun, this movie just about does the trick. But its not remotely funny enough to survive the tsunami of sappy sentiment that overwhelms the movie in the end. For a much sharper variation on the theme, revisit 1983's Risky Business, the film that made the young Tom Cruise a star.



Behaving Badly

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 1st July 2014

Distributed by: Vertical Entertainment

Production compaines: Starboard Entertainment, Mad Chance

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 4.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Miri Yoon

Starring: as Rick Stevens, as Nina Pennington, as Lucy Stevens / Saint Lola, as Pamela Bender, as Annette Stratton-Osborne, as Kristen Stevens, as Joseph Stevens, as Father Krumins, as Jimmy Leach, as Chief Clark, as Principal Basil Poole, as Inmate

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