College freshman Steve Karp, his girlfriend and their fellow dormmates embark on one the greatest experiences of their lives. Unfortunately for Steve, his lonely and recently divorced father is tagging along for the ride.
Jason Stone is the director of this odd little short film that somehow, years later, inspired Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg - who were involved in writing and producing this - to make the wonderfully sophomoric and smart-dumb This is the End. This short just has Seth and Jay, who we later see in the feature, as 'themselves', though it's not quite the kind of apocalypse that one might see in the feature (it should be noted you can check out the short on the blu-ray of 'End'). It's mostly an excuse for the filmmaker to show off a ratty and scuzzy apartment the two characters of the same actors names are in, and how they argue throughout about going outside or doing this or that or not. It's not really 'bad', but it's not all that funny, except for a few quips that sound unscripted. The acting is kind of forced - I think Rogen was still getting better as an actor but not quite there yet - as they argue about the roof or faucets or food or whatever. It's only ten minutes long, but feels longer, mostly due to pacing.
Again, not a badly made film at all, if anything Stone should be commended for a creepy atmosphere and an ambiance of dread, as everything is dark and weird and off-putting just in the look of the location. I just wish that there was more focus in what Rogen and Baruchel were doing together on screen. Anything that's funny is kind of accidental, and the end is inevitable but probably could've used a little more time to set up or execute. I sound like I'm hard on this, but it's mostly due to expectations: after loving the feature so much I thought the short would be this cool little nugget that could be worked upon. There's no real satire here about celebrity, it's just a couple of goofs trying to figure stuff out but not very well, or very entertaining is the thing.
It's a good curiosity, though I can see why the filmmakers decided to expand it and make it more of an epic comedy about vanity and ego. There's only slivers of that here, and a lot of, frankly, tedium.
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