It's been slim pickings the past couple of weeks; other than the brilliant Soviet film The New Babylon
, the best film I've recently seen was Adam Sandler's latest film, the suprisingly sweet and affecting 50 First Dates
(relatively speaking, the film has it's share of course, gross-out humor, such as a walrus vommitting on one of Sandler's co-workers, but most of that stuff comes early in the film); perhaps working with PT Anderson has rubbed off on Sandler, as 50 First Dates
is the first mainstream Sandler film I would actually recommend to somebody (it also features, during the credit sequence, a fairly good cover of the Cure's "Love Song" by 311; I never thought I would also find a 311 song that I would actually recommend to somebody). Right now, I'm at the library waiting for the Cinematheque's Norma Talmadge retrospective to begin in about 90 minutes; due to the tremendous amount of laundry I had to do today, I had to push back a screening of Robert Altman's newest film The Company
till tomorrow. Instead, I chose to go see the newest teen sex comedy, Euro Trip
, principally because it featured Michelle Trachtenberg, late of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(now that she is 18, I can freely admit to my crush without feeling all dirty).
was a diverting, sometimes funny, and very, vulgar sex comedy. David Hasselhoff crooning in German during one character's fantasy sex scene is as highbrow as this film gets. There's pretty much something in it that would offend just about anyone, least of all Europeans, who are all depicted in as a stereotypical fashion as possible (Europe itself is the city of Prague with a few prominent landmarks greenscreened in at the narrative's convenience). Not that Americans come off looking any better (well, possibly better than the people of Bratislava, who apparently still live in a post-Soviet wasteland of decaying blockhouses and garbage strewn streets; where 80s-era American culture is still very new; and where $1.83 American can get you put up in a five star hotel, thanks to the exchange rate), the original title was the Ugly Americans
. One of my favorite scenes took place on a famous nude beach (on the English channel?), where instead of nubile French women, the characters find only naked, American men milling about. And talk about nudity, this film features the most male, full-frontal nudity of any mainstream Hollywood film that I've ever seen, something that you wouldn't expect from a film aimed squarely at high school boys. Does anyone care about the plot? I didn't, but it can basically be boiled down to the characters getting drunk and wanting, and mostly failing, to get laid. Beyond the boobs and latent homosexuality, there's plenty of other stuff that was either outrageous or funny, and sometimes both, such as jokes about English soccer hooligans (led by Vinnie Jones, in of the films many cameos; it also features small turns by Jeffrey Tambor, Lucy Lawless, Matt Damon, and Kristin Kreuk), incest, a goose-stepping German six-year old with a pencilled in Hitler-mustache, and a whole sequence of events told at the expense of the Pope's "death" (to further infuriate the Catholic League, there some hot sex in a Vatican confessional). Pretty much, if you are bored, like I was, it's something to watch, and even be amused by (and if anyone cares, yes indeed, Michelle Trachtenberg was hot, though she did not have a lot to do, and spent the film largely chaste, though wearing clothes comparable to what she wore in the S7 episode "Him," of course, that reference will be lost on everyone except for Allyn, oh well...)
Well, it's almost time to go to the Cinematheque....I wonder if any of the Norma Talmadge films from the 1910s will prominently feature a male character being anally probed by a motorized dildo? Hmmm.