Crude teen movies are already old and tedious more often than not. Movies about partying in college ran their course over a decade ago, and now feel outdated most of the time. Movies with obnoxious lead characters are no fun to watch. So it's great that Slackers combines all three of these annoying elements into one big steaming pile of junk. Well, it's not really great, but it is a good exercise in patience to see if people can sit through this entire movie without getting up to leave. Although the movie has many failed attempts at being funny, its humor comes off as grating, mainly due to the main character of Ethan, or "Cool Ethan" as he prefers. Ethan (Jason Schwartzman, Rushmore, Just Like Mona) is madly in love with Angela (James King, Blow, Pearl Harbor), but because he is a horrible troll, she does not even acknowledge his existence. He gets his chance when he catches three classmates cheating.
He decides to blackmail them. They will help Angela fall in love with him so he won't turn them in and get them kicked out. It is getting close to graduation, and they all have ambitious post-graduate plans (although they are extremely lazy). What Ethan does not count on is Dave (Devon Sawa, The Guilty, Final Destination) and Angela falling in love. Dave initially has no plans to fall for Angela, he just does not want to get caught. Most of the movie consists of Dave and Angela making goo-goo eyes at each other, or Ethan acting like a moron in front of Angela. It's hard believing that Dave and his friends Sam (New Jersey Turnpikes, SLC Punk) and Jeff (Michael Maronna, Expired, President Clinton: Final Days) can be so smart that they spend hours researching and concocting elaborate plans to get out of taking tests, when they can spend just as much energy, if not less, taking and passing them. Oh, and Laura Prepon (FOX's That 70's Show, The Pornographer: A Love Story) is in this mess too.
It's also hard believing that somebody like Ethan exists, even in the bizarre world of film. He is a combination of nerd, geek, and dork, and it's a surprise his peers didn't kill him out of frustration years earlier. He is extremely obtuse in the ways of women, only because the story demands him to be. He apparently has book smarts, but no social skills, or even conversation skills. He stomps his foot like a baby, and acts like a psychotic stalker. This is not a good move for Schwartzman, especially after a promising (and similar) turn in Rushmore. Writer David Steinberg (American Pie 2) essentially took all the crude parts left over from his other work and put them here. There are odd scenes of a guy singing a duet with his, uh, 'member,' and Prepon masturbating. The sad thing is, this is the only thing she does in Slackers.
King comes across as the most sympathetic character, only because she has infinite patience. Despite all of Ethan's strange attempts to woo her, she still talks to him and even lets him into her dorm in the wee hours of the morning. In other words, no character in Slackers acts remotely like a real human being. Sure, all the guys are completely amoral, but sometimes that could actually be fun in a movie. Not here. Perhaps first time director Dewey Nicks knew how bad this movie was going to be. He needs to learn that being as crude is not the same as being funny. Dewey has a bunch of people like Gina Gershon, Cameron Diaz, and Mamie Van Doren make cameo appearances. How he got the first two is unknown. Barely anybody who will watch this film knows who the last is, although they will probably never forget the scene she is in.
|Haro Rates It: Really Bad.|
|1 hour, 27 minutes, Rated R for strong language and sexual content, and for brief drug use.|
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