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Dustin Putman



Dustin's Review

Eurotrip (2004)
2 Stars

Directed by Jeff Schaffer
Cast: Scott Mechlowicz, Jacob Pitts, Michelle Trachtenberg, Travis Wester, Jessica Bohrs, Vinnie Jones, Kristin Kreuk, Matt Damon, Lucy Lawless, Fred Armisen, J.P. Manoux, Walter Sittler
2004 – 92 minutes
Rated: Rated R (for sexuality, nudity, language, and drug/alcohol content).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, February 21, 2004.

It comes as no surprise that "Eurotrip" is from the producers of 2000's "Road Trip." They feature extraordinarily similar storylines, albeit set in different countries, and if "Eurotrip" lacks the running momentum of the former film, it does well in making up for it with a barrage of big laughs. Some of the comic moments fall flat, but not to worry—"Eurotrip" is consistently episodic and there is always another joke right around the corner to hit the bullseye.

Scott Thomas is hit with a major blow upon graduating high school when his wandering girlfriend (Kristin Kreuk) promptly breaks up with him and moves on to an older, hunkier rock singer (Matt Damon). When his close European Internet penpal, Mieke (Jessica Bohrs), tells him he is coming to see him during summer break, he freaks out and responds with a cruel e-mail. What Scott learns too late is that Mieke is not a guy at all, but a very hot chick. With twin pals Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Jamie (Travis Wester) already backpacking across Europe, Scott and friend Cooper (Jacob Pitts) decide to meet them in Rome. Together, the four of them make their way across the foreign country to Mieke's home in Berlin so that Scott can apologize and finally meet his true love. Getting there, however, proves to be more difficult than any of them bargained for.

Directed by Jeff Schaffer (in his debut), "Eurotrip" is skit-heavy, but doesn't forget to develop a plot to drive the action. The film spends roughly ten to fifteen minutes in each European city, with bumpy, comic-heavy stops in Rome, Denmark, Berlin, Paris, and the war-torn eastern European Bratislava. Jokes range from a creepy Italian guy (Fred Armisen) the kids keep running into on a train who makes sexual advances at them; an absinthe-laced experience at a nightclub; a dominatrix torture chamber Cooper unknowingly enters into; a nude beach hot spot with no women other than Jenny; and a disastrous stop at the Vatican involving a mistakenly dead pope. It's all very light and inconsequential, but it does have its fair share of genuine laughs. Most admiringly, the tone of the film stays good-natured, and although there is heavy sexual content it avoids obvious gross-out gags and raunchiness (for the most part).

Excepting Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy's little sister, Dawn, on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), the four leads are little-known but nevertheless skilled at diving into their characters and going as far as need be to get a laugh. Standing out the most are the aforementioned Trachtenberg, who is charming and natural as the sole girl in the pack, and Scott Mechlowicz, who makes for a winning protagonist as the put-upon, sincere Scott. Also making memorable appearances are Kristin Kreuk, a long way from Lana Lang on TV's "Smallville" as Scott's wild and slutty ex-girlfriend, and Matt Damon (2003's "Stuck on You") in a very fun cameo as Kreuk's new rocker boyfriend. Damon performs an original song entitled, "Scotty Doesn't Know," that is not only a comedic riot, but also so unbelievably catchy that it should be released as a single.

"Eurotrip" is a thin romp without much meat to chomp on once it's over, but at least it knows it's a comedy and doesn't bog itself down as so many films in the genre do by turning sappy in the third act. It's a fast, enjoyable 92 minutes, funnier than the trailers might suggest. Nothing more, and nothing less.
© 2004 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman