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Slackers More at IMDbPro »

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A series of "new-lows" for the teen comedy genre

Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
10 April 2013

Slackers is the kind of "late-night comedy" that doesn't even benefit from being shown after 11:00pm. I doubt assistance of alcohol or another abused drug would make it much funnier either. The film victimizes a lot of great actors to its dirty-minded, juvenile humor that is void of any heart or wit. When That 70's Show's Laura Prepon's time to shine involves her fiercely masturbating on the couch while a character scrounges through her roommates' things, you know you've hit a new-low.

That's what Slackers is; a series of "new-lows" haphazardly jammed into a collage of skits attempting to pass as an eighty-six minute film. Certain comedies can get by with that sort of style (The Blues Brothers and Wayne's World achieved tremendous heights on that basis), but the succeeding ones boast more than a talent for spitball-comedy. In addition to that talent, they could give us characters we like, one-liners we could remember, and an inspired cast. Slackers has characters that would be indescribably lucky to serve Jake and Elwood or Wayne and Garth dinner.

The plot: Dave (Devon Sawa) has cheated his way through grade school, high school, and now college, with his buds Jeff (Michael Maronna) and Sam (Jason Segel). They go beyond the usual call of duty, setting up intricate, fool-proof plans on how to get themselves to succeed and help their close friends as well. Apparently, it takes less time to devise schemes than it does to actually study. Moreover, they get caught cheating by Ethan (Jason Schwartzman), a weird student obsessed with Angela (Jaime King), a beautiful girl who attends the same college. Ethan blackmails the three guys behind it and tells them he will get them expelled if they don't set him up with Angela. But of course, when Dave tries, Angela winds up falling for him, leaving Ethan enraged and seriously jealous.

It was just a few months ago I watched Wes Anderson's Rushmore, a film I found difficult to grasp, marginally entertaining, and surprisingly cold to the audience. One of the issues I had was with Jason Schwartzman's Max, who was pompous and self-indulgent in his approach through life. I admired Schwartzman's acting, but that was the extent of that, since I found his character frustrating to say the least, yet after seeing Ethan, I regard Max as a more attractive character to say the least. Here is a deeply depraved character - less a villain and more mentally unstable, as he is obsessed about stealing things of Angela's, such as her underwear, clothes, bracelets, etc. He even goes as far as to collect single-strands of her hair to knot them into a small doll. Consider a scene where her picks up her stray hair, anxiously inhales its aroma, and states how she is using a new shampoo. One, how much scent can be in one strand of hair, but is this a scene we're supposed to laugh at? I cringed and I cringed hard.

And so the mood was set for Slackers, which shockingly doesn't falter because of its reliance on gross-out humor, but reliance on situations that aren't funny, characters that aren't interesting, and lame, uninspired comedic drudgery. Think about a film like American Pie - one of the many ribald comedies this one so desperately wants to be - and think about what made it funny and enjoyable. I hope you recalled the beautifully imperfect, naive characters we watched grow into beautifully imperfect, naive adults, or the fact that there we so many characters it was difficult to choose who was more likable. Here, the one-dimensionality of the cast is stunningly uninteresting, and even worse, stop and think about the characters we're for; loud, obnoxious, stereotypical, cheating idiots. If the aforementioned content wasn't enough to turn you off, try imagining rooting for that one schmuck you know who cheats and does his work unethically. You wouldn't root for him/her at work - why would you in a movie?

Starring: Devon Sawa, Jason Schwartzman, Jaime King, Michael Maronna, Jason Segel, and Laura Prepon. Directed by: Dewey Nicks.

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Just an awful movie.

Author: Aidiera from Phoenix
20 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Poop jokes, fart jokes, masturbation jokes: this movie's got them all. A love story that's as bad as Jason Schwartzman's eyebrows, and a plot which moves as fast as carousel. How could anybody enjoy this movie? At one point Schwartzman gives a sponge bath to a topless old lady, and it's supposed to be funny. A guy has a sing-along session with his penis, I mean what the eff? Was this movie meant for perverted five-year-olds who go sneaking into 'R' movies? *sigh* You know, if they had dropped all the immature bullish, moved the beginning cheat scene to the middle, and make more sense of the whole Schwartzman character, this would be tolerable. But this makes me want to throw up.

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Completely Underrated

Author: jdavisjdavis from United States
1 May 2011

This movie is a perfect combination of 40 year old virgin, American Pie, Van Wilder, How I met your mother, and something completely new and different. There are tons of great actors in it that went on to get recognized in great shows and movies.

It definitely reminds me of some college days which brought me back, but it is even more about friends and the general young adult age of the characters that anybody would enjoy. It's hardly serious material, but has a moment or two that will hit deeper.

I really enjoyed it... even my wife and kids did, which blows my mind... they never like anything I like! My wife loves the 40 year old virgin nerdy adult humor. My kids liked the Jason Swartzman characters because he had a lot of physical humor and stole several scenes in general.

Anyway, if you can't handle goofy movies, avoid it. But if you can handle sometimes goofy, often weird, and completely funny, you'll love it.

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Ironically, this could have used more effort

Author: abgkasjlkasjla from Denmark
1 May 2010

Why do I have the feeling that this is going to read like I'm a bitter jerk who can't relax and enjoy something for what it is? OK, think of American Pie, at least the first one; wouldn't you say that you can describe the most featured characters(that, by the way, can not be cut from the flick without it impacting something), and that they'll be consistent, their actions being ones that you can recognize as ones you might, under similar circumstances, see yourself taking? I hate to sound like that guy who asks for the volume to be turned down, but there's a reason for the former producing hits, in and outside of this sub-genre. Here, essentially, no one has any personality and can't even remain consistent to their one defining attribute, often behaving however the jokes and gags demand them to. Sense is thrown out the window as a common practice in this. That can work, but this lacks an "anchor", there's nothing to relate it all to reality. Also, it often tries way too hard at times; an easy example is, well, you know how these often have someone who's just... weird. Not necessarily any explanation provided, that's merely how he is. This one has two. To be fair, if you accept this at face value, it can be funny, albeit it tends to confuse controversy with humor. This should be recognized for its creativity(if this quality of it possesses all the aim of a cluster-bomb fired in the dark), with dream/fantasy sequences and other odd stuff. Sawa and King bring charisma and acting talent to this, aspects it would otherwise have none of. The pace and energy to this aren't bad. There is plenty of strong language, a lot of moderate sexuality, several hot chicks and brief nudity in this. I recommend this to big fans of R-rated teen comedies. 5/10

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Schwartzman stole the film,

Author: Matt_Layden from Canada
6 December 2009

The film is amusing and Devon Sawa plays himself, yet again, in this teen comedy fare that takes place in College. The story centres around these three guys who cheat their way (elaborately) throughout college. This one 'loser' who calls himself Cool Ethan (played by Jason Schwartzman in a stand out role, discovers this and blackmails them in order to get a date with this hot chick that he is stalking. I use the term stalking loosely, he has a shrine dedicated to her, a video of her playing in this shrine 24/7 and he collects her hair all over campus and made a hair doll that he sleeps with/talks to and uses to masturbate. Weird right?

Formulaic script goes on and Sawa falls in love with the girl he was paid to seduce for Schwartzman. She discovers this and hates him, he has to do something romantic and win her back, yawn. Jason Segel is one of the three 'slackers' before his rise to fame and right after his role Freaks and Geeks. It's nothing big, just a supporting role.

The film is really weird and out there, even for a teen comedy. One of the slackers, the ginger one, sings to his penis...and his penis literally sings back to him. He has a sock on it and it sings, mouth moves and everything. Why is this scene here? What does it do for the film? I have no idea. This character is weird and funny though, one standout scene is when he has to finish an exam and the teacher calls for pencils down. He continues to write and flips off the teacher, the teacher yells that he has failed. When he walks up to the desk the teachers says don't even bother handing it in, the ginger asks if he even knows who he is. The teachers replies no, so the kid throws his paper in the middle of the pile of tests and throws them around, then runs away. Funny and something I can see actually happening....singing penis, not so much.

I did laugh, mainly because Schwartzman stole the film. Segel has gone on to be a part of a hit show and a regular for the Apatow crew. Schwartzman has a new show on television and has his bits with Wes Anderson. Sawa? I don't even know what he's doing anymore. He has his fame when he was younger and the girls wanted him. He got ugly and fell off the map. I wanted more of their elaborate cheating schemes and less of the love story that doesn't make sense. They love each other after two or three dates?

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Pretty Surprised

Author: jts0405 from United States
3 September 2009

Going into this, I thought Slackers was going to suck big time. I actually ended up, not loving, but enjoying this movie. It definitely is worth a watch one time. The greatest character is by far Cool Ethan. I feel that Jason Schwartzman played the part extremely well, and I could not see someone else in that role now. Other than Schwartzman's hysterical performance, this was basically just another comedy focusing around guy's slacking off and meeting girls. For a change we actually see it take place at a College instead of the normal High School backdrop. But really this is worth it for those that like a dumb yet funny movie.


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Unlikely characters star in a typical teen comedy. Not so often you watch something like it.

Author: insomniac_rod from Noctropolis
17 August 2009

I enjoyed this movie mainly because I didn't have any expectations on it. I just programmed it on Sky on a Monday night. I watched it, and ended up liking a lot because it's a movie where the main characters and villains (if you can call them that way) are unlikely. What do I mean? The lead character played by Devon Sawa got the guts, the cool attitude, and the on-screen charisma. The antagonist, Jeff, is a freak with some anger problems and really gets on your nerves. Still, he works perfect as the pain in the ass.

The supporting characters do their work pretty well and you can remember about your "Saved by the Bell" years.

The situations are funny and will truly transport you to high school or college.

The only problem I found about "Slackers" was it's over the top situations, and unrealistic climax. Hey, it worked as mindless entertainment at least.

Oh, special mention for Jaime King who looks hotter as hell.

Watch this movie if you're into the kind of humor that goes on high school.

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Underappreciated gross-out comedy

Author: onatreestump from California
9 March 2003

Jason Schwartzman steals the show as the stalker/nerd "Cool Ethan" in this, dare I say..hilarious movie. It does what Van Wilder and American Pie did without all that "production value." The humor is pretty low-brow(kinda like Schwartzman's), but if you're in to that then this movie is for you.

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Slackers review

Author: fusegirltje from Antwerp, Belgium
16 December 2002

i can't believe so many people are saying that this movie was bad. i have now seen it three times and i still find it excellent. it's funny AND it has sexy Devon Sawa in it! what more could people want?? i say: rent it and have fun! it really is worth your time. i promise

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Grade A Humor

Author: CelticDruid from Wilmington, NC
15 December 2002

This movie is horribly hilarious. Its randomness makes for great elements of comedy. Though much of the humor is lude, it is memorable and worth seeing. Jason Schwartzman plays the crazy stalker boy scarily well and Laura Prepon (Donna from That 70s Show) is hilarious as a freaky sex fiend. I definitely recommend renting this for a cheap, good laugh.

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