A Decade of Lost Hours: Eurotrip (2004)

A special 'Lost Hours' edition - this movie is turning ten! 
Think of all those hours!

 

As we here at GWW reflected on the Red Sox fantastic 2013 campaign, we realized that October 2014 will mark ten years since our beloved BoSox broke the Curse in the fateful fall of 2004. As a result, we felt old. In an attempt to feel even older, we will from time to time remember other favorites celebrating their tin anniversary in 2014. Remember, the next ten years could be even better, but don’t get your hopes up.

There are some movies that pop on the telly and you can’t turn away.  You know what I’m talking about.  We’re not talking about The Godfather or In Bruges or even Step Brothers.  I mean the movies you flip to, know you should probably do something else, yet you’re glued.  For one scene.  Then another. You can’t seem to quit.  You know this ‘film’ may not truly be worth a second, fourth, thirtieth time (guilty).  Suddenly it’s a half hour later and you’re well on your way to forgetting about your homework, the dishes, or whatever task should really be your focus.  You’ve seen it, you know it’s silly/bad/laughable/straight-to-dvd yet you keep coming back – and not quite sure why you adore movies like this. 
 
Sometimes movies like this are tied to a piece of nostalgia you cannot quite place.  Sometimes you can’t help love the sappiness (Serendipity?  Anyone?  Anyone?).  Maybe the movie is a delightful misstep for a beloved actor.  Maybe you just want to see some explosions and a kickass hero beat someone up.  Call them what you will, ‘Guilty pleasures’ seems too simplified.  The connection is something else.  Not really ‘good’ but also not necessarily ‘bad’, there’s a comfort in those lost hours. That comfort is not a feeling anyone should feel guilty about.

 

EUROTRIPposter
(Top image via Rotten Tomatoes)
Rotten Tomatoes: 46%  (76% from the fans)
IMDb: 6.6/10

Where to start.  This is just good ol’ fashion dumb fun.  Matt Damon lip syncs a Lufstra song about the main character’s girlfriend.  A very… uh… personal song (NSFW-ish? Let’s be honest, though – that’s one catchy song).

I could end the discussion right there.  I won’t.

 

Bourne undercover.

Bourne undercover.

 

This movie falls into a very specific genre of dumb comedy. I give you Road Trip (2000), Slackers (2002), Old School (2003), Harold & Kumar (2004) as examples – the list goes on and on.  From 1999 to around 2004, there were a slew of these films (personally I adore Slackers, but that does not quite fit the criteria we’ve laid out) all hitting on some similar notes.

1) A ‘normal, ‘well-adjusted’ guy has his life turned upside down/ A lovable goofball has a ‘quest.’
2) Zany friends, crazy plans, hijinks ensue – there’s usually romance involved.  One of the friends can be smarter than he looks AND crazy, if the characters are college-aged.
3) Despite the stereotypes your main gang falls into, despite the bro-ness of some of the situations (for lack of a better descriptor – I racked my brain, really I did), you find yourself relating to and/or really liking these dumb characters.

Surprise surprise!  This absinthe party doesn't end well!

Surprise surprise! This absinthe party doesn’t end well!

I picked those examples above carefully.  Some of the films in this genre-era transcend the masses.  Old School and Harold & Kumar (the original, mind you) are standouts in this category.  Admittedly, they are still replayed and staples of a frat house, but they’re also pretty damn funny.  H&K even re-sparked Neil Patrick Harris’ career.  And for that, I request the highest of fives.  This is a formula studios routinely try to keep alive, recent examples one might cite could be 21 & Over (fun) or That Awkward Moment (some fine actors).  We like dumb buddy movies.

 

But others are more middling, left replaying at odd hours on Comedy Central, edited for summer viewing on TBS or relegated to the $3 movie bin as you leave Targét  Slackers, while near and dear to my heart, is at the bottom end of this group.  It is infrequently played and I’m sure few of you have it on DVD, as I do – it is extra dumb.  Eurotrip, however, is a different animal.

Euro-Trip-michelle-trachtenberg-196974_780_422

A perfect example of these middling, somewhat age-or-era specific movies, Eurotrip is still somehow timeless.  Kids still go abroad and people relate to the basic set up. The movie also has that unique, ‘Lost Hours’-necessary quality of being funny in all forms.  Whether edited for TV or the full donkey show (which pops up on various movie channels from time to time), Eurotrip has some truly funny scenes.

The Matt Damon cameo cracks me up.  Fred Armisen shows up as a truly strange train passenger with boundary issues, even by Fred Armisen standards.  There are crazed soccer hooligans led by the madman Vinnie Jones.  A robot street performer dance off/fight.  Absinthe is consumed, identities mistaken.  A wonderful Pope sight gag gets thrown in that makes me chuckle every time despite knowing when it arrives in the film.  And then there’s a very… interesting appearance by none other than Xena herself, Lucy Lawless.  To go into many of these much more would be to spoil some of the best moments in an otherwise fluffy film.

Eurotrip is a perfect addition to our ‘Lost Hours’ segment, because once again I can attest to the time spent watching parts, if not the whole, of this delightfully, unrelentingly, unabashedly ridiculous film.  That’s why, I think, this movie and others like it get you hooked.  It’s almost as if you can tell the whole thing is made with a wink and a nod.  A “can-you-believe-we-all-get-to-hang-out-and-make-a-movie” vibe that makes the characters fun and harmless.

With summer on the horizon, no doubt Eurotrip will be making the rounds.  Flick over, catch a few scenes while you’re icing down your sunburn.  I’ll be right there with you (I’m pasty), unashamed.

 

 

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About Author: Will McMahon

Will has eclectic movie, television and music tastes. He likes Batman, horror movies and Mark Ruffalo. Has seen every episode of 'The O.C.' at least twice, so take him with a large grain of salt. Accomplished beard grower. Bad movie enthusiast. Lyrical genius. Some have said he is a real-life version of Nick Miller from 'New Girl.' No word on whether or not this is a compliment.

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