Directed by Sean Anders. Starring Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke, James Marsden, Seth Green, Alice Greczyn, Katrina Bowden, Charlie McDermott, Mark L. Young. (2008, R, 109 min.)
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 17, 2008
It's not Sixteen Candles, but it's not Road Trip, either. Instead, this comedic car-trip riff on the teen-male libido and the lengths to which it will go to satisfy itself falls somewhere in between part endearing emo love story, part gross-out semen gag-fest, and, very occasionally, a smart, inspired, non-sequitur-laden hoot. Anything that features Robot Chicken's Green as a sarcastic Amish grease monkey with a penchant for pushing the buttons of unsuspecting "English" can't be all bad, and Anders, who adapted the film from Andy Behrens popular young-adult novel All the Way, milks the material for all it's worth, so to speak. Goaded into action by his self-assured, indie-suave best friend, Lance (Duke, who seems to be creating a new teen template as he goes along), high school virgin/nice guy Ian (Zuckerman) "borrows" the ’69 GTO of his testosterone-enveloped older brother, Rex (Marsden, kicking an obvious homage to Bill Paxton's vicious sib in Weird Science). Along with secretly insecure, hip-chick buddy Felicia (Crew), they embark on a nine-hour road trip to Poontown, USA, aka the parking lot of Bob's Big Boy, where Ian plans to meet Ms. Tasty, the nom d'amour of his online fantasy girl. Along the way, this emotionally insecure trio of post-John Hughes archetypes (is there any other kind?) runs afoul of such things as Green's smartly played Amish head-tripper, emo heartthrobs Fall Out Boy, and (in the most original teen-comedy grace notes since John Cusack's dorkoid Devo Ts enlivened Sixteen Candles) McDermott and Young's Game Boy horndogs Andy and Randy. (Seriously. These two deserve their own feature, posthaste.) Hilarity ensues, in dribs and drabs, but this particular road has been already so well-traversed that even the unexpected comic potholes have been pretty well filled in by now. Go rent The Last American Virgin, and get it over with, already.