Just in time for high school upperclassmen with suitably meandering minds comes the new direct-to-DVD release Senior Skip Day, which surprisingly doesn’t bear a possessive National Lampoon’s appellation.
The shopworn story here centers around Adam (Gary Lundy, above), a slightly geeky kid who accidentally reveals the secret location of his class’ party, and endeavors to save himself from eternal infamy by scrambling to host the event at his house. Enlisting the assistance of a couple friends — as well as three for-hire lingerie models who become surprisingly sympathetic to his plight — Adam scores some alcohol, makes a humongous gravity bong and manages to impress the otherwise-engaged girl, Cara (Kayla Ewell), with whom he’s smitten. When principal Frank Dickwalder (Larry Miller, of The Nutty Professor flicks and, more recently, Blonde Ambition), an Ed Rooney-type figure of perpetual debasement, centers in the party and moves in to break it up, however, good-guy Adam must think on his feet in order to squirm out of the situation.
Written by Evan Wasserstrom and directed, in his feature debut, by Nick Weiss, Senior Skip Day takes a while to find its stride. Especially early on, some of the movie’s sideshow bits are idiotic and kind of thoughtless (a light but recognizable gong every time one Asian character shows up… really?), and undercut the direct-address authorial voice that derives from a few Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-style asides delivered by Lundy. Eventually, though, the warped, full-throttle commitment of a couple of the performances (including Miller and volleyball pro Talan Torriero, as the jerky jock), give the movie some legitimate lift as compared to a lot of its fellow teen comedy brethren.
Though prominently billed, Tara Reid and Lea Thompson have quite small roles, as Adam’s party-hearty sister and mother, respectively. Clint Howard, Russell Peters and Norm McDonald also show up, doling out serving-size portions of mostly their usual shtick, with Howard’s role — an old classmate and nemesis of Dickwalder’s, and sort of the 180-degree antithesis of Matthew McConaughey’s Wooderson, from Dazed and Confused — garnering the most screen time. Another bit player who makes quite an impression is the super-cute Taryn Southern (the girl behind the music video “Hott 4 Hill,” a pro-Hillary Clinton send-up of Obama Girl’s viral videos), as the school’s requisite “hot-but-crazy” chick, Isha, a crusading vegetarian who finally gets to unleash and make greasy-good upon her secret desire for a chicken wing. Wait a second… I just realized that sounded like a complex sexual metaphor. It’s not. I meant that literally.
At any rate, housed in a regular Amray case, Senior Skip Day comes presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, with a Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound audio track, and optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles. There are no supplemental bonus features here, alas, apart from a trailer for the movie and nine other releases, including Blonde and Blonder, Smiley Face, Remember the Daze and the forthcoming theatrical release War, Inc., starring John Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Ben Kingsley and Hilary Duff. The kind of painfully amusing thing, though, is the way in which the back cover touts — in large print, and circa 1998 fashion — the subtitles and audio option (singular!) as bonus features. Guys, you should just bury that with another photo or something. At any rate, to purchase the movie via Amazon, click here. C+ (Movie) D- (Disc)