on February 20, 2004 by Wade Major
In answer to that intrepid question, "What could the writers of 'The Cat in the Hat' possibly do for an encore?" comes the equally idiotic "Eurotrip." This time, however, writers Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg and David Mandel aren't manufacturing rubbish from someone else's work--they're producing it from scratch. The formulaic teen sex comedy centers on college-bound Scotty Thomas (Scott Mechlowicz), a recently-dumped guy-next-door who discovers that his Berlin-based internet pen-pal, Mieke (Jessica Boehrs), isn't a man but a gorgeous Teutonic hottie. So off he goes on a trans-European quest to make the hookup, bringing friends Cooper (Jacob Pitts), Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Jamie (Travis Wester) along for the ride.

Like most films in this increasingly tired genre, "Eurotrip" strings together an uneven series of broad gags and raunchy sketches under the guise of a plot. Co-scribe Schaffer, who makes his directing debut with the film, never really catches a groove--the tone and pacing are all over the map, yielding only two or three genuinely funny moments, all of them cameo-driven.

In fairness, "Eurotrip" isn't exactly aiming for Oscars--its target audience is notoriously unconcerned with such things as taste, logic or production value. That the film was rather obviously shot in just one location (Prague) intended to pass for a half-dozen other cities through the flagrantly geographically inaccurate digital insertion of renowned landmarks clearly won't bother them. That it's just not funny, however, promises to be a tougher hill to climb.

The real unfortunates here are the four leads, all of whom are undeniably appealing and clearly deserving of better things. One can only hope that they get on with it, sooner rather than later, thereby erasing this dismal detour from the memories of anyone who might make a difference in their careers. Starring Scott Mchlowicz, Jessica Boehrs, Jacob Pitts, Michelle Trachtenberg and Travis Wester. Directed by Jeff Schaffer. Written by Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg and David Mandel. Produced by Alec Berg, David Mandel and Daniel Goldberg. A Fox release. Comedy. Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and drug/alcohol content. Running time: 90 min

Tags: Scott Mchlowicz, Jessica Boehrs, Jacob Pitts, Michelle Trachtenberg, Travis Wester, by Jeff Schaffer, Written by Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg, David Mandel, Produced by Alec Berg, Daniel Goldberg, A Fox release, Comedy, landmarks, flagrantly, digital, European, trips

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