ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
There Goes the Bride -
slowly, but she makes it
Required: ludicrous amounts of
Pavlo's soul is his guitar
Required: ludicrous amounts of hallucinogens
Starring: Devon Sawa, Jason Schwartzman, James King
Directed by: Dewey Nicks
Three 1/2 stars (out of five)
By Grant Donaldson
Gazette File Photo
Strap on your helmet, buckle your safety belt and get ready for a trip
into the deepest, darkest recesses of insanity – Slackers is here.
While the previews allude to standard adolescent hijinx – riding the
coattails of American Pie all the way to the bank – the inappropriately
titled Slackers is anything but another teen movie.
The basic story revolves around three college students. Dave (Devon Sawa),
Jeff (Michael Maronna) and Sam (Jason Segal) have scammed, cheated and
lied their way to the verge of graduation. However, things go awry when
"Cool Ethan" – a socially inept geek played by Jason Schwartzman – catches
wind of one of their scams, threatening their entire college careers.
Ethan promises to keep the lid on their cheating if they help him win the
heart of Angela (James King), a girl with whom he has developed an
Unfortunately, Ethan bungles all of his opportunities and eventually Dave
and Angela fall in love. This turnabout drives Ethan mad and he seeks
vengeance on Dave. A bitter rivalry ensues and Dave and Ethan do all in
their power to damage each other's reputation.
The movie ends as both the truths behind the schemes and Ethan's darkest
secrets are brought to light and, of course, the good guy gets the girl.
Sounds fairly basic doesn't it? Guess again.
When Slackers was filmed, the cast and crew must have lost the script part
way through, ingested a ludicrous amount of hallucinogens and made the
rest up along the way.
The movie seems to dance on a thread thin plot offering a potpourri of
utterly confusing and hilarious situations that leave viewers scratching
their heads. The disturbing extent of Ethan's fixation on Angela provides
a number of humourous peeks inside the mind of a psycho and his sheer
idiocy leaves you howling.
Additionally, the intriguing personalities and inner-struggles of the
supporting characters keep the level of gasps and guffaws from the
audience at a maximum.
The actual script is a cut and paste job – equal parts brilliant and
entirely random. The scenes jump from witty dark comedy to toilet humour
to Harlequin romance so quickly it can make the audience dizzy.
The individuality of each character is well-written, defining each in a
way that makes their freakiness believable. In fact, much of the everyday
actions of the characters are portrayed in a realistic light all too often
missing from mainstream Hollywood movies.
Smoking pot is shown as the everyday activity it is, neither condemned nor
glorified and people react to situations in realistic ways, instead of
However, while many of the gags are original and genuinely funny, the
awkwardness of Ethan and the lack of logical continuity can become too
much to handle.
The acting is at the level one would expect from an adolescent comedy,
with each actor essentially portraying average people who remain fairly
flat characters. Extra points go to Jason Schwartzman for his ability to
effectively bring to life a character so irritating and socially
nauseating, it's difficult to imagine such a creature could ever really
Slackers is a movie that you will either love or hate, depending on taste,
maturity or possibly even the tides. Regardless of your reaction, the
movie guarantees at least a few laughs and is definitely worth getting off
the couch to check out.