Retro Review: Slackers

One of the co-writers of “American Pie II” and a rookie cast create a teen-sex comedy in the spirit of “American Pie”, “Porky’s” and “Revenge of the Nerds”. Will it be a classic or a flash in the pan?

Dave (Devon Sawa of “Final Destination”), Sam (Jason Segal of “Freaks & Geeks”), and Jeff (Michael C. Maronna of “Home Alone”) have their college campus mastered.

They have schemes, plans and ideas on how to coast through till graduation. All they have to do is sit back and relax.

One day, Dave angers Ethan (Jason Schwartzman of “Rushmore”), one of his fellow classmates when he steals his seat. Ethan is obsessed with the girl of his dreams, Angela (former model James King of “Pearl Harbor”) and Dave happens to steal the seat next to Ethan’s dream.

Ethan swears vengeance for messing with his destiny.

Ethan then finds out about the trios schemes and plans. He then blackmails the trio into helping him get Angela or he would get them all expelled. Does Ethan have the trio mastered?

Would unsuspecting Angela fall for this nutcase so the trio can graduate? Or is there something else actually going on?

“Slackers” tries to be all the famous teen-sex comedies of yesteryear but in fact it lacks the vital element of innocence that made the other comedies so fresh and witty. “Slackers” also has no real likeable characters except for maybe Angela. All the main characters aren’t likeable because on some level they are all jerks, cheaters, liars, or just plain scary.

The performance by Jason Schwartzman is so believable that it doesn’t make you laugh but instead cringe. This guy is deeply disturbed that I was waiting for him to bow down to a pentagram and ask Satan to grant his wish. I mean he carries around a brush to collect the girl’s fallen hair so he can make a doll out of it. Where do they come up with this stuff?

I liked the quieter moments in the film where we could understand these guys more. I also liked the quiet innocent Angela and her kinky roommate Reanna (played by That 70s Show’s Laura Prepon). But these are just isolated things within a complete mess of a movie. You what was bizarre is that the character of Jeff was played by one of the kids from the Home Alone movies. He played one of Macauley Culkin’s brothers. Damn, that makes me feel old.

What was probably the most aggravating were most of the dream-flashback sequences. They were more scary and demented then wacky and funny. What the heck was Cameron Diaz doing in one of them? (That has to be the low moment of her career)

“Slackers” is a disappointment to say the least and probably will be remembered (if it is) as being one of the worst films of 2002.

(1 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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