Sometimes one hears things about a film dismissed a long, long time ago from a trusted source or friend and one decides to see that movie. This, for me, was the case with EuroTrip (2004). When EuroTrip first came out I wrote it off as the same kind of nonsense as something like Private School (1983). Then I heard from a few different acquaintances and bloggers that EuroTrip was a sort of metaphysical genre critique like Pledge Night (1990).
EuroTrip is about recent high school graduate Scotty (Scott Mechlowicz) who, upon being dumped by his girlfriend (Kristin Kreuk) for a singer (Matt Damon in his best cameo ever), decides to go to Berlin to hook up with his penpal. Scotty is joined by his moronic wingman Cooper (Jacob Pitts) and the two plan to rendezvous with their friends, the twins, Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Jamie (Travis Wester) in Paris. Once the foursome is united they wreak tasteless (and rather dated) havoc all over Europe.
EuroTrip was written by Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer (who also directed); all of whom previously wrote for the sitcom Seinfeld. None of the wit or “true to life” scenarios that made Seinfeld great can be found in EuroTrip. What can be found in EuroTrip is a plethora of mind-numbing and offensive jokes. And these jokes aren’t offensive in a subversive way nor are they outrageous enough that they are likely to be remembered a moment later.
If EuroTrip has a redeeming quality it’s the character of Jenny played by Michelle Trachtenberg. Jenny’s role as a supporting character limits her screen time so that she’s never too wrapped up in the worst of the humor which generally centers around Scotty and Cooper. Instead, and perhaps accidentally, Jenny emerges as a character who is appropriately naive for her age but still independent. Trachtenberg’s performance does a lot to bring out these qualities which don’t really get much support from the dialogue.
None of this is meant to condemn EuroTrip or its cult following. This is a film with a very specific appeal that is of a very specific moment in time. The great thing about “forgotten” or “less popular” films with a cult following is that they bring these fans together.Unfortunately I will not be joining that club anytime soon.