Teen comedies are my weak spot. Even if ninety percent of them are pure crap, and while I'm watching them I know they are bad, I can still end up enjoying most of them. I liked Tomcats for example, even though I acknowledge that it was a horrible movie with nothing even remotely original. Then there's Slackers, which has caught me off guard. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, even though it has the same stupid potty jokes that most other teen comedies has, yet it is still entertaining, and a little sharper than some of those "other ones."
I feel as though my credibility is going out the window by saying that Slackers is a little sharper. In all respects, the movie isn't that funny; you can tell when it is trying to be but rarely does it succeed. There are plenty of messed up things in the film as well, mainly focused around Jason Schwartzman's character and his psychotic obsession for Angela (James King), that are more disturbing then comical. Also, the main characters are slackers; they cheat on all of their tests to get through college. Nevertheless, despite all of the outlandish things that go on, Slackers seems more down-to-Earth and at least a little more realistic than other teen comedies. I hate to say it, but what really saves the film is the relationship story between Dave (Devon Sawa) and Angela, which is quite enjoyable to watch. The two actors have great chemistry, and, really, the rest of the movie secretly revolves around their relationship.
Slackers is about a group of guys that have cheated their way through college, but when some obsessive weirdo figures out what they've been doing, they are forced to pool their talents to do something else altogether; enable the weirdo to attract the girl. Of course, one of the slackers, Dave, falls in love with the girl as well.
Slackers really does have good potential, because the plot is pretty entertaining in terms of teen comedies. Schwartzman plays a truly insane fellow that collects Angela's hair, videotapes her from afar, and does more disturbing things that you'll just have to watch the movie to see. The plot makes an interesting love triangle around his character, because Angela and Dave are interested in each other, yet Ethan (Schwartzman) is forced in between due to circumstances. More than anything else, Slackers just needs a scene-by-scene overhaul, because the package itself is pretty stable.
There is nothing really wrong with the dialogue, except for it isn't funny. The write really needed to sit down and look at every scene and try to determine how to make the scene funnier, without just throwing something gross in. Slackers really isn't raunchy, but it also has many disturbing (I know I've used that word a lot, but it's the only one that truly fits) moments. Ethan does plenty of things, like put Angela's hair doll that he makes on his crotch, sponge down an old woman's bare breasts, and stuff like that. Some teen comedies can pull it off, but these gross things just don't work in Slackers. I laughed several times only because there were so many random things.
The best part of the movie is the relationship between Sawa and King, but Schwartzman's outlandish character makes you laugh by reaction. Slackers could have been funnier, but somehow it still manages to entertain.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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