In the town of Hudson, Ohio, it’s graduation day for Scotty Thomas (newcomer Scott Mechlowicz) and his friends Cooper (Jacob Pitts), and twins Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg) and Jamie (Travis Wester). A day that fills most with a dual sense of excitement and dread, Scotty is getting an extra helping of dismay, thanks to his being dumped by his girlfriend Fiona (Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk) just after receiving his diploma, a small moment of humiliation he can relive over and over again thanks to the rolling video camera of his parents. Scotty’s only salvation, he feels, is his continuing email communications with his German pen pal, Mieke, to whom he explains in his best German what happened. Later, at the inevitable after-graduation party, Scotty discovers why Fiona dumped in, when the Donny, lead singer of the party band (a shaven-headed, tattooed, spiked collar-wearing Matt Damon), joyously sings out, in great detail, all the things Scotty doesn’t know about what’s been going on between he and Fiona. Drunk and depressed and back in his bedroom, Scotty reads Mieke’s email, which reads like he’s being come onto by his pen pal. Scotty, on the advice of his best friend Cooper, fires off an angry reply, telling Mieke to never talk to him again.
The next morning, a more sober Cooper re-reads Mieke’s email, correcting Scotty’s erroneous assumption that Mieke was a boy. Realizing Mieke is not the geeky guy in the photo once sent but the incredibly hot blonde standing next to the nerd, Scotty and Cooper make rushed plans to travel to Europe, to correct his mistake and win back the affections of the young woman he knows he loves, even if they’ve never met.
The remainder of the film follows Scotty and Cooper from the pubs of London, where they become involved with a group of soccer hooligans led by the scary looking Mad Maynard (Vinnie Jones), to Paris, where they catch up with Jennie and Jamie, through Amsterdam, Bratislava, Berlin and Rome, where Mieke is about to leave on an extended school expedition.
As with most sex comedies aimed at a young adult audience, “Eurotrip” isn’t concerned so much about details such as a cohesive plot or multi-dimensional characterizations. All the filmmakers are concerned about, as well they should be, are setting up the basics about the four protagonists and getting them from one outrageous situation to another. Scotty is the atypical everyman, who didn’t deserve to be treated unfairly at the start, and gets what is coming to him by the end. Cooper is the horn-dog who wants to go to Europe to be a part of the insane sexual odyssey he expects it to be, and gets what’s coming to him by the end. Jamie is excited about visiting all the historical landmarks of Europe, while Jenny just wants to have fun, and they both get what they deserve by the end.
“Eurotrip” could be this generation’s “Bachelor Party,” and that is meant to be a compliment. Both films share a common joy for the absurdity of the moment, gleefully playing with their characters, even though you know everything will be cool by the credits. All four young leads work well together, none more so than Jacob Pitts, who is likely to become the breakout star of the film. Michelle Trachtenberg, familiar to most as the constantly dour younger sister of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, looks great playing the always cheerful Jenny. And while Scott Mechlowicz may not become the next Tom Hanks, he is well cast as the main hero, who, for a refreshing change of pace for these types of films, suffers the least amount of humiliation amongst the main group of friends.
“Eurotrip” is a lot of fun, and gets an A- from me.Rating: A-