The Night Out: Fired Up! (2009), or Post-Oscar Blues

1 03 2009
F.U.- Hmmm... Nope. I dont get it.

F.U.- Hmmm... Nope. I don't get it.

Hey, everyone! Today I feel I have to tell you something, something that has been nagging at me since last Sunday. It is a sad fact of life, but it is something that perhaps many of you have not realized yet. After the Oscars, it is basically over for really good movies in theaters. The studios target the three months before the Oscars to release these gems to garner award buzz. It works, and for those three months it is great, but afterward there is such a malaise in theaters! It is so bad. Nothing but rom-coms, kids movies, and Tyler Perry joints inhabit this dead zone, a horrible place where you cringe when you see the now-playing list. There will be some good ones on the next couple weeks (WATCHMEN!) to shed a little light on this dreadful time, but the spring is a bad time for movies. Summer too, if you’re not a big fan of explosions and lethal doses of testosterone. So until the fall, where I am granted more reprieve, I will still go to the movies for these segments, but do not expect too many sterling reviews. Today’s feature, a light and fluffy teen comedy called Fired Up!, was released two days before the Oscars, in a way heralding the coming drought. Luckily there was just enough water in this hunk of dung to keep me hydrated until the coming rains (thanks, Bear Grylls, for the useful info!).

So, Shawn and Nick are two hunky high school guys. They’re athletic, fairly smart, suave, and “sexy”. Their main likes are to hang out with each other and have sex (not with each other, allegedly, but with girls). They are the star players on the football team, although mainly to score with girls. When they hear that football training camp is coming up, and that it will be two weeks of sweating, grunting, and hanging out with other dudes, they instantly cool on the idea. Instead they get a wild idea in their heads; that they should join up for the cheerleading squad. Not because of their school spirit, of course, or their love of backflips, but because it will be almost exclusively girls there, and they can have lots of under-age sex instead of grinding against a bunch of guys for two weeks. They make up excuses for their coach and football friends, while simultaneously making convincing the sexy cheerleading captain for the school to let them join up with them. She is wise to their game and does not want them to join, but she is the only one on the squad who thinks like that and is outnumbered. At the camp, the two sexy-cool-funny-awesome-rad guys find that cheerleading is a little harder and more complicated than they first thought. They do have lots of sex and everything, but things get rough when Shawn realizes that he’s falling for the cheerleading captain who is already taken, albeit by a total loser named Dr. Rick, and Nick realizes that he’s falling for the smoking MILF who runs the cheerleading camp with her semi-gay husband. And not only that, but throughout all this there is still the cheerleading competition that their team has come last place in for seemingly eternity that Nick and Shawn actually start caring about. Will these two super-cool guys stop having super-quick teenager sex long enough to find themselves at cheer camp? Will they win the competition against their rivals, the super-competitive Panthers? Will Nick get his super-hot married MILF and will Shawn get his cheerleading captain?

Imagine if you will a Mirror Universe Superbad, where instead of the losers busting ass to try and get laid, it was the “hot” guys trying to go steady with someone. And, stranger than that, the movie was only PG-13. This is that movie, pulled from the DVD collection of Mirror Spock himself (he was too busy trimming his goatee to notice). Nick and Shawn are funny in their own way. They have a couple good lines, but something nagged at me. These guys are completely infallible. There are no flubs, no humbling factor to Nick and Shawn. They are high-school gods, whatever that means; they are too cool for this universe, and even when they try to humanize them they end up accidentally making them more perfect. I almost felt inadequate compared to them for a moment, then quickly realized that they are 99% likely to peak in high school, leading the remainder of their lives in bitter resentment of all the women who left them for their philandering ways, all the children they are no longer allowed to see due to a court-ordered visitation mandate, and all the loneliness they will feel on a day to day basis. They don’t show this in the movie, but I think we can all draw our own conclusions.

The cast is okay for one of these sexy high school comedies. Nicholas D’Agosto is Shawn and Eric Christian Olsen is Nick, and they are the main attraction for the comedy, unless you actually go to the movies to see hot chicks, in which case I think you might need to get started in the wonderful world of internet porn instead of wasting 8 bucks to see girls in bikinis. They are really the only people who tell jokes. There are one or two quirky side characters who merit a chuckle, but not enough chuckles to get their names dropped in my coveted review. Other than that, the couple who own the camp, Keith and Diora, played by John Michael Higgins and Molly Sims respectively, are fun. Molly Sims turns up the heat a little for the MILF factor, but constantly shoots Nick down in the meanest way possible, which can be slightly amusing at times. John Michael Higgins, on the other hand, is grand as always as a slightly bi-curious coach who is dreadfully serious about cheering. This guy could make me laugh reading the phone book. He has done a lot of voice work for cartoons, so whenever I hear his incredibly distinctive voice, I recall the many characters he has voiced, and he has also played in the majority of the Christopher Guest films, so I always assume that most of his dialog is ad-libbed, which also amuses me.

And a quick note about the soundtrack; garbage. That is all.

So if you love to see totally-rad high school kids have a lot of sexy adventures around the campus but can only go so far because of the PG-13 limitations, this is the movie for you. Otherwise, go watch Superbad and have a more cathartic experience. I give Fired Up! 5 1/2 sexy-cool-funny-awesome-rad guys out of 10. Here’s to more innocuous movies like this during spring instead of anything too mind-numbingly awful.

See you tomorrow, where we discuss Savage Grace!