All-season comedy fun gets sprung in a big way when Saturday Night Live veterans Amy Poehler (Baby Mama), Rachel Dratch (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) and Will Arnett (Semi-Pro) gear up for one huge Spring Breakdown. Thirtysomething best friends Gayle (Poehler), Becky (Parker Posey) and Judi (Dratch) have always dreamed of being fabulous. But they never grew out of being geeks. So when Becky gets the opportunity to unofficially chaperone her boss daughter Ashley (Amber Tamblyn) to the college spring-break destination of South Padre Island, the ladies decide to turn their tragically unhip lives around and party with the beer-and-bikini set. Through keg-stands, hookups and foam parties, Becky, Gayle, Judi and Ashley are about to discover that its better to stand out than to fit in.
Maybe it’s just this reviewer’s self denial, but he isn’t too impressed with this movie’s setup. Geeks growing up to become the fabulous selves they could only dream about? This is Hollywood, and anything can happen. If you had the chance to look at the state this reviewer is in now, you would not believe the crap that comes out from Hollywood screenwriters today. But then again, there is no need for such angst ridden words. This Ryan Shiraki directed movie was probably made to provide some chuckles, not to smash people’s dreams of becoming extraordinarily remarkable. It’s Hollywood and miracles are supposed to provide hope for people like this writer.
With a story by Rachel Dratch and Shiraki himself, the director writer pens this story of three 30 something women who go on a beach vacation to enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea. Of course, being geeks in their earlier years, they have a problem fitting in and being part of the “mainstream” gang. You would then expect jokes to ensue – crude and sexual ones at that. Here you have it – a NC16 rating from our friends at the censorship board.
While laughs and sniggers are aplenty in this 84 minute movie (cue those retro but oh so ugly fashion and bad hair days), you may feel mean spirited after a while. After all, all of us had that embarrassing past before (or at least, this reviewer had his) – so let’s not get too chirpy about other people’s ugly situations. The writing may also appear hilarious at the movie’s onset, but as the unsubstantial picture proceeds with its somewhat silly humour, you get tired of its repetition, and worse, you see the ending coming about 20 minutes into the movie.
So there you are, sitting and watching the clucky movie with no intellectual stimulation. Of course, the amusing performances of the three female leads Amy Poehler (Baby Mama, Horton Hears a Who!), Parker Posey (Superman Returns, For Your Consideration) and story writer Dratch (Click, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry) will occasionally distract you from the hollowness of the story, but at the end of the day, you’d still be unsatisfied with the silliness of this rowdy affair.
You must admit there is nothing new about this comedy here, and while the filmmakers are not trying to provoke your intelligence with its tiresome setup, you must also admit that this belongs to a certain section called trash satire. And it doesn’t take an ex-geek to tell you that.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a Commentary by Director Ryan Shiraki and Rachel Dratch, where the entertaining duo talks about the movie letting women taking centrestage to so some broad comedy. It also includes three minutes of Additional Scenes and a two minute Gag Reel where you see the actresses goof up.
The disc’s visual transfer is clear, and there are English and Portuguese audio tracks to choose from.
by John Li
Posted on 2 July 2009