23 July 2007

Netflix Notes: 23 July 2007

Fraternity Vacation (1985)

So, I've been revisiting as many Comedies from the 1980's as I can withstand during the past couple of months, and this particularly lame movie may signal the end to that nostalgic, and mostly disappointing, endeavor.

This Comedy is soooo unfunny that I can't even figure out how to critique it. Consider this - Tim Robbins plays a "cool" frat brother named "Mother" Tucker. I did the math, and this uproariously funny and inventive name is the basis for 5.6% of this film. I guess if the name makes you chuckle, Fraternity Vacation might be worth a rental.

Cameron Dye plays "Joe", the other, slightly less cool, frat brother. Consider this - Mr. Dye is perhaps best known as "Fred", the other, slightly less cool, punk in Valley Girl. Anyways, "Joe" is about as funny as his name.

Together, Mother and Joe decide their #1 goal for the spring break week in Palm Springs is getting Wendell laid. Just from his name, you know Wendall is virginal dweeb, right? Ayup, Wendell is 100% self-admitted Nerd. With a capital N. He's clumsy, he's socially awkward, blah blah blah.

Most of the comedy is SUPPOSED to be derived from the conceit that Tucker and Joe think Wendell is getting more hot sex than they are, and the fact that we know Wendell really isn't getting laid. *Wink wink yawn*

Tucker and Joe aren't getting laid either, even though they've wagered $1000 with two absolute tools from a rival fraternity. The winner of the bet is the one who first bangs "Ashley", a particularly beautiful blonde who sits around the pool, never getting hit on, never talking to anybody...Other times, she stands out on the balcony of her own poolside suite, looking longingly at something off camera, in the distance. The sunset, perhaps, or a riveting grove of palm trees. The film never shows or tells us. This is one of the stronger dramatic elements of the film.

But Fraternity Vacation isn't about drama. It's about the laughs, of which I had two.

One was when Mother and Joe were in the Palm Springs jail, and Mother was pretending to play the blues on an imaginary harmonica. That was a golden moment.

The other time is when "Madman Mac" (played by Charles Rocket, for those of you old enough to remember), the local crazy radio disc jockey, led an impromptu protest in front of aforementioned jail. They were chanting "Free The Palm Springs Three", and the crowd of 37 had signs and t-shirts saying the same. I thought that was funny for some reason.

I almost laughed when Tucker called "Chas", one of the rival frat tools, a "turkey", but man, words like that hurt, ya dig?

Anyways, the real joke is that I wrote this much about a movie that really and truly never deserved to exist, so let me give you the big twist ending...In the last 5 minutes Wendell hooks up with Ashley. If you actually rent Fraternity Vacation, you will have this ending figured by the 15 minute mark. 1 out of 5


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