I could go the rest of my life without seeing another point-of-view shot, from the floor up, of someone receiving a massage, which is but one of several dozen reasons that Frat Party grates so. A downmarket, wildly unfunny college comedy pitched at foreign market fans of Old School, all those American Pie straight-to-DVD sequels and their countless mouth-breathing derivatives, like Dorm Daze 2, this film serves as hornball rental fodder for those who haven’t yet figured out how to use the Internet to track down pictures of boobs.
When big-man-on-campus Duffy (Randy Wayne, channeling a watered-down Matthew McConaughey) announces he’s going to be marrying Adriana (Caroline D’Amore, a Sorority Row bit player), a debutante heiress to an Italian winery, right after college graduation, he realizes his days of partying may be coming to an end. Of course, he still wants to squeeze in one final frat house kegger the night before his out-of-town wedding, so air-quote hijinks ensue. Among the obstacles along the way are a father-in-law who will stop at nothing to put the kibosh on his daughter marrying a party animal like Duffy; his minion, scheming family friend Stefano (Robert Parks-Valletta); and Duffy’s old girlfriend Kelly (new WWE ringmaster Lauren Mayhew), who wants to reacquaint herself with his jock. Along with tubby buddy Mac (Jareb Dauplaise), Duffy makes a play for fun, and then a scramble to get back in the good graces of Adriana. Will the couple live happily ever after? Will anyone remember what happened the night before? Will anyone care, in the slightest?
Naturally, there’s booze and babes aplenty here (Katerina Mikailenko and Erica Day provide some eye candy, along with the aforementioned masseuse scene, which attempts to spoof the legend of “happy endings” of Asian massage parlors), but Frat Party is a misguided medley of popped collars and bop-gun comedic blanks almost from frame one. Writer-director Robert Bennett never clearly settles on a strong, singular point-of-view, despite the fact that he opens the movie with a bunch of wearyingly on-the-nose direct-address material from Duffy. Large swatches of the rest of the film hinge on half-heartedly sketched scenes with seemingly improvised dialogue (“Even sometimes I even surprise myself!”). The performances are broad and cartoonish, rendering Bennett’s earnest attempts to milk honest feeling regarding Duffy and Adriana’s relationship even more painful to watch. And the requisite tentpole gross-out moments, meanwhile (including an ejaculatory release), do not inspire wide-eyed guffaws, but instead merely tired sighs.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, Frat Party comes to DVD presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with an English language Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound audio track, and fairly imprecise English SDH subtitles. The ample roster of bonus materials is designed to bait high school guys who have yet to ever attend a frat party into renting or purchasing Frat Party. There’s a two-minute tidbit, “How to Throw a Frat Party,” that is virtually indistinguishable from a separate three-minute behind-the-scenes tour segment; both are single-play shrugs. There’s also a three-minute featurette focusing on former adult star turned legit flick bit player Jesse Jane (who, somewhat amusingly, frets over having to learn lines at the last moment from a “new script”) and, yes, a one-minute collection of “slow-motion goodies,” which is as it sounds — most of the movie’s bared bosoms, collected for your viewing enjoyment. The only slightly amusing supplemental extra is a six-minute look at the massage scene, in which a crouching female stagehand mans the artificial semen pump, and Dauplaise gets psyched and into character by repeating over and over, “Will Ferrell would do this, Will Ferrell would do this, Will Ferrell would do this!” There’s also a feature-length audio commentary track from Bennett. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. F (Movie) C (Disc)