Who's In It: Nicholas D'Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer, Molly Sims, David Walton, Philip Baker Hall, John Michael Higgins
The Basics: Two high school football jocks, both of them obsessed with having as much sex with as many girls as possible, ditch training camp for cheerleading camp in order to increase their odds. And then one of them falls in love with the head cheerleader of their squad and then the two horndogs find themselves really liking cheerleading and blah-blah-life-lessons-blah. It's all a distraction from the fact that they can't show any boobs and still keep a PG-13 rating.
What's The Deal: Seriously, an R-rating and this would have been a totally different, way better movie. In the '70s, and even more so in the '80s -- the golden age of teen sex comedies, whenyou had movies like H.O.T.S. and Zapped! and all sorts of really excellent exploitation going on -- the teens were actually allowed to have sex. They didn't just tease you with euphemisms and wacky body-part-hiding slapstick. They "did it." They were 27-year-olds acting like high-school seniors but they used all the good R-rated words and they played Strip Monopoly and we liked it that way. They were funny because they were raunchy and dirty and sometimes disgusting. But now everything has to be responsible and safe enough for my 12-year-old niece to watch and rely on actual witty dialogue for the laughs. And that doesn't happen nearly enough. It's not a great leap forward in human behavior; it's the de-evolution of comedy.
But It's Still Better Than The Reader: The two lead guys are appealing and have a comfortable, fast-paced, banter-y chemistry that doesn't flag even as the plot turns predictable; a 13-year-old supporting actress named Juliette Goglia, who plays the mean, profanity-spewing little sister, steals every scene she's in; there's a goofy, sort of hilarious shout out to Bring It On; and the end credits, full of out-takes that should have been left in, are funnier than a lot of what made it past the editing room.
Warning For Cheerleading Obsessives: You don't get a lot of actual cheer routines here. The movie just doesn't care that much about your needs on that front. They're in short supply and the big competition finale scenes are an afterthought in terms of cool choreography. You'll get more innovative ideas about twisting the human body into new shapes by watching Step Up 2 The Streets. And that's not a dig at Step Up 2 The Streets either, because that movie was pretty awesome.
Artistic Integrity Dilemma For Whomever Wrote The Awful '90s Alt-Rock Anthem "Breakfast At Tiffany's": Do you allow the studio to pay you a nice song-use fee in order watch your only hit single be turned into the joke everyone already knows that it is? Or do you stand by it proudly and refuse to lend it out to be trashed for cash? The answer lies somewhere around the 40-minute mark.