“Eurotrash” is more like it–even the opening animated credits are repulsive in this irremediably gross exercise in sophomoric sex jokes and crudity, a would-be “American Pie” clone that goes far beyond its model in vulgarity. “Eurotrip” is tasteless in so many ways–not only sexual but in terms of nationality, religion and gender as well–that it hits a new low in a genre that had already seemed to have reached the depths. And it isn’t remotely funny.
The plot, to use the term very loosely, is so thin that it could be written on a matchbook cover. Scott (nondescript newcomer Scott Mechlowicz), a graduating high school senior, is unceremoniously dumped by his long-time girlfriend. He also reacts with disgust when his German pen-pal Mieke suggests that now they might get together–he thinks Mieke is a guy named Mike, you see, rather than the luscious blonde she actually is (chuckle, chuckle). When he learns his mistake, he goes off to the Old World to track Mieke down. He’s accompanied by his smart-aleck, endlessly horny pal Cooper (Jacob Pitts), and together they link up with a couple of erstwhile classmates–twins Jenny (colorlessly spunky Michelle Trachtenberg) and Jamie (ultra-uptight Travis Wester)–to track down Mieke, in the process running into lots of supposedly funny locals and engaging in plenty of “National Lampoon” style shenanigans as they work their way from London to Paris to Amsterdam to Bratislava to Berlin to Rome and back to America. Prague, we’re told in the press notes, actually plays all the European cities–thanks to a few clumsy insertions into backgrounds, like muddy pictures of Big Ben and the Colosseum–but fortunately it never has to appear as itself, which allows the city to remain blissfully anonymous. (The actors will probably wish they could do the same, though only Matt Domon, who’s virtually unrecognizable as the rocker who steals Scott’s girlfriend, may succeed.)
Some of the movie is just dumb. Does anybody think that laughs can really be gotten from shtick involving mimes, or an extended bit featuring Vinnie Jones as a foul-tempered (and foul-mouthed) British soccer hooligan? But what’s notable is the astonishing ugliness of most of the stuff offered up for laughs. It goes without saying that the level of sexual vulgarity is astronomical–like “Porky’s” on speed–with an S&M sequence in Holland (featuring Lucy Lawless as a dominatrix) probably the low point, though there are plenty of other disgusting moments to choose from. But the persistent gay-bashing is particularly vile; apart from the whole Mieke-Mikey business, an episode featuring Fred Armisen as a “Creepy Italian Guy” who paws at the travelers during a train ride is genuinely nauseating. And is it really acceptable to milk giggles from a gag that has a German kid drawing a Hitler moustache on his face and goose-steeping around his living room? Or to portray Bratislava as a virtual rubbish-heap that’s decades behind “civilized” communities? (Slovakia should really sue for slander.) Then there’s the revoltingly contemptuous treatment of the Catholic Church in the Rome scenes. Crude jokes predicated on the pope’s death and naked couples having at it in Vatican confessionals should be abhorrent to people of every faith–or none.
There’s no need to go on about this disaster much longer. Suffice it to say that the movie looks crummy and that the direction by Jeff Schaffer (who co-wrote the wretched script with Alec Berg and David Mandel–the same trio responsible for bastardizing “The Cat in the Hat”) is slapdash. But in closing we must cast the final spotlight on Pitts, whose surname seems utterly appropriate in this context. He might actually be a pleasant guy, but here he turns sidekick Cooper into an adolescent version of David Spade. It’s impossible to imagine anything much worse than that, and he’s unfortunately he’s your companion throughout this awful “Trip.” Be smart and just stay home, because although that Creepy Italian Guy follows up every one of his assaults with an unctuous “Mi scusi, mi scusi,” there’s absolutely no excuse for a movie this bad.