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Friday, February 20, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Movie Review

Pushing the envelope in a most European way

Special to The Seattle Times

I admit it: I was all set to hate "Eurotrip." A bunch of American stereotypes go to Europe, where they meet a bunch of European stereotypes — the molesting Italian, the French mime, the British soccer hooligan — and there's much sex and drugs and insipid behavior. Party.

Yet "Eurotrip" isn't awful. At times it's even funny.

Most recent raunchy comedies, trailing forever after the Farrelly brothers, try to be outrageous with the worst kinds of bathroom humor. Look! Poop! Funny!

Movie review


Showtimes and trailer

**
"Eurotrip," with Scott Mechlowicz, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jacob Pitts, Travis Wester. Directed by Jeff Schaffer. Written by Schaffer, Alec Berg and David Mandel. 92 minutes. Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and drug/alcohol content. Several theaters.

"Eurotrip's" outrageousness is less scatological — like when they take the concept of the dumped boyfriend to new heights. On the day Scotty (Scott Mechlowicz) graduates from high school, his girlfriend, Fiona ("Smallville's" Kristin Kreuk, the first of many cameos), coldly dumps him, while his obtuse parents proudly videotape the episode. To forget her, Scotty attends a graduation party where a punk band's lead singer (cameo: Matt Damon) dedicates their next song to, you guessed it, Fiona, who promptly jumps onstage to French-kiss him. The song is all about having sex with Fiona behind her boyfriend's back. It's called "Scotty Doesn't Know." Everyone sings along while he stands in the crowd, stunned. His best friend: "This band rocks!"

Now that's pretty funny.

Another example? There's not only T&A in the film but P. The male P. True, the female nudity is young and nubile while the male version tends toward middle-age and elderly, but full-frontal male nudity in a mainstream American picture? Distributed in the U.S.? Astonishing.

Many of the outrageous jokes (a goose-stepping German child) fall flat; Scotty's backpacking friends are like junior versions of sitcom actors David Spade and David Hyde Pierce (the sly, horny one; the anal-retentive one); and the film is often shallow and predictable.

But it's not painfully stupid in a "Just Married" kind of way. And the film definitely hits its target audience.

"This is so wrong," a teenager, sitting next to me at the screening, said. Happily.

Erik Lundegaard: elundegaard@comcast.net

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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