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‘Eurotrip’ has a few good laughs

The twentysomething gross-out crowd should love it
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Eurotrip” has no right to be anything but Eurotrash. How surprising, then, that this formless, shapeless bit of drivel actually manages a few fresh laughs.

For the late-teen, early-twentysomething gross-out crowd, “Eurotrip” is the pick of the year so far, piling on unsightly gags about such things as S&M sexual aids or nude beaches overrun by homely men, captured in all their full-frontal lack of glory.

While the movie merits its hard R rating for nudity, sex and out-of-control partying, the young, largely unknown cast is so dopily unassuming that no one grates the way, say, Seann William Scott does in the “American Pie” movies. And the sightgags, though coarse, are a cut above the body-fluid jokes that litter most teen flicks.

The result is one of the more inoffensive offerings in the offensive teen subgenre.

The thin story line centers on Scotty (Scott Mechlowicz), who hurtfully rebuffs a cyber pass from his German e-mail pen pal, Mieke, thinking it’s a homosexual advance. Too late, Scotty learns that “Mieke” is a girl’s name, and that this particular Mieke (German pop singer Jessica Boehrs) is the babe of his dreams.

When Scotty tries to contact her, he finds Mieke has angrily blocked his incoming e-mails. With no way to contact her, Scotty sets out on a shoestring-budgeted mission to Berlin to find her, his goofily underachieving buddy Cooper (Jacob Pitts) tagging along.

They also enlist brother-sister twins Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Jamie (Travis Webster), who interrupt their carefully, boringly plotted trip to Europe to join Scotty’s quest.

Madcap mayhem erupts at every turn, most of it as creative as a paint-by-numbers Mona Lisa replica. But Jeff Schaffer, Alec Berg and David Mandel (the writing trio behind the dreadful “Dr. Seuss’ the Cat in the Hat”) muster a handful of crassly clever moments. (Schaffer makes his directing debut with “Eurotrip,” while Berg and Mandel have producing credits).

The highlights include Scotty and Cooper’s run-in with a gang of British soccer hooligans led by Vinnie Jones, in an amusingly anarchic performance; Cooper’s misfortunes in an Amsterdam brothel where Lucy Lawless of “Xena: Warrior Princess” puts in a cameo as Madame Vandersexxx, who maniacally inflicts masochistic sexual gratification; and an energetic bit by Matt Damon as a head-banging rock ’n’ roller.

And it’s hard not to laugh at the image of dozens of flabby naked men idly milling around a nude beach, wondering where the girls are.

Stick around through the closing credits, which offer some of the movie’s funniest moments with a series of outtakes, including a few snippets of drollery by Joanna Lumley as a hostel clerk.