Director: Francesco Lucente
Writer: Francesco Lucente
From: Cult Cinema
Mike makes a $2000 bet that he can get Diane, the most famed virgin at his school to go to a private bungalow with him.
I always appreciate it when a movie describes itself better than I ever could: “My best friend’s being charmed by a slimy idiot and there’s nothing I can do to stop her.” THE END
While I have an affection for movies featuring “teens” with receding hairlines, this one really got on my nerves. First, the positive: I finished folding my laundry while the movie was playing.
The negative: this movie.
Set-up: high-schooler Diane isn’t allowed to date because her mother had a messy divorce from her father. Whether Diane’s mom got pregnant in high school or if she just doesn’t trust men anymore isn’t clear and this reason for Diane not dating is dropped later in the movie when it’s revealed that she’s already betrothed, though they don’t say that, to someone she met five years prior. So, sixth-grade-ish?
Randy is a douchebag who resents Diane’s well-advertised virginity (look, we can spend the entire day parsing the what-the-fuckery of that sentence or just agree that no part of it makes sense, just like Randy’s Australian accent. Yeah. That’s not explained either). He bets Mike, our hero, unfortunately, $2000 that Mike can’t take Diane to the Paradise Bungalows, the go-to hook-up vacation spot for teens (?), by the end of the summer.
I say Randy bets Mike. It’s really Mike who initiates the whole thing. Our hero.
So Mike tries various ham-fisted ways of getting Diane to go out with him, except he’s charmless and creepy. It’s Diane’s friend Judy who has the line I quoted at the top and she pretty much nails it. Mike whines his way into getting Diane to agree to go with him and, after a bear tries to break into their cabin, they kiss. We’re way into the movie, by the way. I just skipped a bunch of it.
On the drive home, Mike learns that Diane would never forgive someone for spreading rumors about her and ruining her reputation. Unfortunately, Judy has found out about the bet. When Mike drops Diane off, Judy tells her, and everyone leaves: Judy and Diane to get away from Mike, Mike and his friend to settle the bet with Randy.
Diane’s mad, but she likes Mike and wants to find a way to forgive him or get out in front of the rumor. Neither happens, but so what. She and Judy drive off to the meet-up point as well. There, Mike tells Randy it didn’t happen and that he lost the bet. Randy doesn’t care because he’s invested in spreading the rumor anyway. Mike makes a new bet: they play chicken and if Mike wins, Randy and his friends keep their mouths shut. Diane and Judy show up at this point, they play chicken, and Mike wins. Everyone congratulates him, Diane kisses him, and Randy gives his word. Mike and Diane go to her house to meet her mom. THE END
This is a rip-off of Better Off Dead..., a small success two years before this came out. That movie had absurd humor, odd dream sequences, and an early performance by John Cusack being charming. This movie has tired slapstick that never lands, dream sequences that even characters within the dream sequence call “dumb,” and a charmless performance by a lead who’s constantly mumbling, lying, and whining. Even beyond the performance, the character sucks. We like Diane as a character, but Mike is forever reminding us that he’s a piece of shit.
The movie just isn’t fun. Instead, it’s ninety minutes of cringe, just constant cringe. It’s limp, lifeless, and every shot looks like a reenactment from America’s Most Wanted. While there’s no nudity or sexual assault, it’s still kind of gross. I’m going to shock you and say that it’s not a recommend.