Brock Press - Arts & Entertainment
Issue: 02/24/04

Eurotrip far too much fun
By Chris Dart

Eurotrip is a damn good movie. There, I said it.

I don't want anyone to get confused by what I mean here. I'm not saying that Eurotrip is a masterpiece on the level of the works Fellini, Godard or Russ Meyer, although I think the latter's work did have some influence on Alec Mandel, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer, the creative team behind Eurotrip. However, it is obscenely funny. Not a little funny, not chuckling funny, it's full-on, having-spasms-in-the-theatre, throwing-popcorn-on-the-person-next-to-you, obscenely funny.

The premise is both ridiculous and fairly easy to explain. After getting dumped by his bitchy, chronically unfaithful ex-girlfriend Fiona (Kristin Kreuk, playing the polar opposite of her sugary sweet Smallville persona), Scott, played by Scott Mechlowitz of Neverland fame, decide to visit his German Internet pen-pal Meike, who has recently discovered is a hot girl, not a dorky guy as he previously imagined. Along for the ride is his horny best friend Cooper (Jacob Pitts from K-19: The Widowmaker) and "the twins," uber-geek Jamie (relative newcomer Travis Wester) and the hot-but-nobody-realizes-it Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg, also known as Dawn from Buffy, but more on her later). Rather than go directly from America to Germany, the gang decides, thanks to a series of fun plot contrivances, to get to Berlin via the rest of the continent.

The real star of this film is not any one member of our hormonal crew, or even the quartet as a comedic ensemble. Rather, the star is Europe, or at least a series of bizarre ethnic stereotypes that seem to represent Europe in the mind of the American film industry. The English are drunk, xenophobic football hooligans. The French are creepy robot mimes. The Italians are both intensely Catholic and sort of gay. The Dutch are just straight up freaky-deaky.

Now, any one of these stereotypes played for any extensive period of time could be thoroughly offensive, but they're only touched on briefly enough to make us bust a gut at how thoroughly insane each stereotype is.

The film's most insane moment comes when our quartet has a detour in Bratislava. The crew manages to live large on $1.83 thanks to Slovakia's depressed economy and the twins suck face with each other at an absinthe-fuelled orgy. Oh, and they meet a tour guide who is convinced it's 1988. Watching a man with a think Eastern European accent talk about Miami Vice is worth the price of admission alone.

Also worthy of mention is the number of cameos. Lucy Lawless appears as a Dutch dominatrix named Madame Van Der Sexxx who provides Cooper with an unpronounceable safe word. Matt Damon does either a very bad Henry Rollins impression or a great impression of the dinkwallet from Good Charlotte as Fiona's punk-rocking other man. Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen is thoroughly creepy as a crotch-flashing, Jamie-molesting Italian.

Oh, about Michelle Trachtenberg. From an objective standpoint, I have to admit that she's grown-up and looking pretty lethal, but I still feel sort of creepy watching Harriet the Spy play a sexpot. That said, it's no more disturbing than the all-male nude beach scene.