This 2009 February release by director Miguel Arteta features the loveable Michael Cera.
Cera plays the virgin character(s) Nick Twisp and the dark “alter ego” Francois. With not much of an enjoyable home life, Nick forms a clingy relationship with a holiday romance Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday). But getting the girl isn’t always an easy task for the teen. As tempting as Sheeni is she is already taken by a young stud named Trent (perfectly named). The nice guy image for Nick won’t get him very far as his family decide to move back home, which means never seeing Sheeni again. And that brings into play the darker side to Nick, Francois. And it’s the tag team of Nick and Francois that have to overcome the odds and get back to their darling love.
The film stays within the genre of a comedy drama. And maybe sometimes touches upon a light romance. If you are expecting a light hearted comedy then you may be put off. The film has its dark moments, and maybe those moments may be too dark for some. We can all symphonize with Nick’s desperate attempt to get the girl, but his actions may be too extreme for all viewers. There is an incident in the film where he let a car go into a building. Even though I shouldn’t look too much into it, he could have easily killed a number of people. And then there’s Francois. Even though his pieces of dialogue are some of the funniest moments in the film, some of his words are a little too “R-Rated”. But once again this is marketed as a fun light hearted rom-com.
But you cannot fault the films attempt to be original and stake a claim in the viewers memory. And it does that. The films intro features an animated clay feature. In which key members of the cast are seen as clay and they go on their journey to their luxury trailer holiday home. It may be a bit unconventional and hard for viewers to keep fixed on the film, but its ability to be spontaneous is enjoyable. (As uncalled for as it is).
Credit has to be given to Michael Cera here. As of late Cera has been getting type cast as the awkward virgin teen type. But this Indie themed film requires Cera to dig deep and... ‘act. Not only does he have to play one character (an awkward teenage virgin), but the charismatic, take no crap, seductive speaking Francois. It’s something that we haven’t seen Cera do yet in his young career. And to be honest he plays the character well! Although maybe that’s because the words that come out his mouth, were the last thing we were expecting. Not only is he rude but he is the bad boy, a slightly psychotic bad boy to say the least. But along with Cera the entire cast is great. The film has characters that are only in it for a limited time, but the cast director uses that to one of the films greatest assets. Nick’s mom goes through two new boyfriends, and they are not seen again after the first 40 minutes of the film. And instead of them simply being a character that you forget in ten minutes, you don’t. As the two boyfriends are the very funny Hangover star Zach Galifianakis. And the brilliant Goodfellas star Ray Liotta. And they are both brilliantly funny. And they become two of the film’s most memorable characters (even though they are not in it for that long).
Overall this film is a good enjoyable flick. Although the film didn’t make a profit in terms of the business side. With an estimated budget of $18, 000, 000 and only grossing $15,000, 000 worldwide. You should still go and check the film out. Although it lacks any solid major talking points, Cera’s devilish character Francois, is defiantly something alone that you have to go and see.
Overall an enjoyable 6.5 out of 10.
Written by, Sam Archer.