Clearly, the intention was to recreate the vibe of 1983's freewheeling romp Risky Business. And while it's good fun, it's also forgettable.
Matt (Grace) was a high-achiever in the class of 1984. He's just earned a top four-year engineering degree from MIT, but has no idea what to do with the rest of his life. Then one day he bumps into his high school crush Tori (Palmer) and pretends to be a successful banker. Soon he's invited to a cool party at the home of Kyle (Pratt), the hard-partying boyfriend of Matt's twin sister Wendy (Faris). And when Matt's goofy pal Barry (Fogler) tags along, it becomes clear that trouble won't be too far behind.
Yes, like Risky Business, this is one of those films in which every bad decision makes things a whole lot worse, as Barry and Matt steal a cool car from Barry's workplace to impress Tori, then indulge in all sorts of wackiness at Kyle's party. Fortunately, Grace is likeable enough to watch even when things turn ludicrously silly around him. His chemistry with Palmer makes their tentative connection almost believable. And Faris is good fun as well, complete with a silly subplot of her own.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Dowse floods the screen with a riot of mid-80s kitsch, from big hair and shoulder pads to pastel colours, shiny fabrics and every 80s anthem you can think of (including NWA's Straight Outta Compton). And even though these characters are meant to be in their early 20s, there are continual nods to teen movie classics of the period, including the bone-headed plot and its earnest "be yourself" moralising.
As it progresses, the comedy of embarrassment becomes rather exhausting, especially since Fogler's increasingly ridiculous experiences distract badly from the central narrative. But it's at least colourful and energetic, with some genuinely hilarious lines peppered throughout the dialog. But we never for a moment believe any of the characters. Or the relationships between them.
Run time: 97 mins
In Theaters: Friday 4th March 2011
Box Office USA: $6.9M
Box Office Worldwide: $6.9M
Distributed by: Relativity Media
Production compaines: Rogue Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Relativity Media, Internationale Filmproduktion Blackbird Dritte
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 32 Rotten: 81
IMDB: 6.4 / 10
Director: Michael Dowse
Producer: Ryan Kavanaugh, Jim Whitaker, Sarah Bowen
Screenwriter: Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo
Starring: Topher Grace as Matt Franklin, Anna Faris as Wendy Franklin, Dan Fogler as Barry Nathan, Teresa Palmer as Tori Frederking, Michelle Trachtenberg as Kitchelle Storms, Michael Biehn as Bill Franklin, Chris Pratt as Kyle Masterson, Jeanie Hackett as Libby Franklin, Lucy Punch as Shelly, Demetri Martin as Carlos, Michael Ian Black as Pete Bering, Bob Odenkirk as Mike, Angie Everhart as Trish Anderson, Jay Jablonski as Benji, Edwin Hodge as Bryce, Candace Kroslak as Ally, Nathalie Kelley as Beth, Wade Allain-Marcus as Broder, Robert Hoffman as Tyler 'Dance Machine' Jones, Ryan Bittle as Rick Herrington, Bruce Nelson as Officer Frank Johnson, Seth Gabel as Brent, James Sharpe as Steven
Also starring: Ryan Kavanaugh
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