Who's In It: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Demetri Martin, Chris Platt, Michael Ian Black
The Basics: It's Labor Day weekend, and you know what that means--pool parties and recent college graduates fearfully pondering their bleak, uncertain, vacuous futures. And if you set it in the '80s, you barely have to put any original thought into costuming or music selection either. So begins our tale of woe where Matt (Topher Grace), his twin Wendy (Anna Faris), and his best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) have what the movie poster assures us is the "Best. Night. Ever."
What's The Deal: I love the "One Legendary Night" genre of film. These movies showcase friendships, vulnerability, comedy, adventure, and sex, and harken back to that magic time of your life when anything could happen. When the credits roll after those movies, it gives you a faraway smile on your face that indicates you have a story or two to tell. This movie seemed too flimsy to invoke much of anything. Although not without merit as far as funny lines or talented performers go, it mostly just felt phoned in. These stories are never complicated--they're just a bunch of kids with a tenuous grip on their young realities making jokes and getting in fights. This time, it was too gimmicky and tired to have an impact.
Men At Work: Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury,Fanboys) was really fun to watch in this flick. His character's posturing subtly covered his insecurity, and he ends up being the fun train wreck you can't take your eyes off of. Whether he's committing a felony, being sexually harassed by Angie Everheart, or covered in cocaine, he's a scene-stealer. Also making an appearance that delighted me was Demetri Martin (Taking Woodstock), pulling a Dr. Strangelove and making guys in wheelchairs funny again. And can we please just put Michael Ian Black and Bob Odenkirk in more stuff? Just in general?
What You Should Be Watching: Can't Hardly Wait is one of the more recent additions to the genre that really stands the test of time. Ethan Embry arguing with Jenna Elfman while she's wearing an angel costume from a stripping gig gone wrong, Seth Green locked in a bathroom all night with KY jelly in his backpack, and that kid from Dick Tracy singing Paradise City? Yes, please.
Or For The Sake Of Brevity: Just watch the Atomic Tom's video of their "Don't You Want Me" cover from the film. They pull out all the '80s pop culture reference stops that we've seen a million times and attempt to make it cheeky, reinforcing the notion that there are no new ideas replacing all the old ones we remember from days gone by. But at least it only lasts 4 minutes.