Sunday, 17 April 2011

Pentuple Bill Mini Musings: Nerds, Dates, and the Summer of '73...

Revenge of the Nerds II, III and IV:
In "Nerds In Paradise" the gang are back (although not so much from Gilbert as Anthony Edwards is the does a 'one day of filming' appearance) and they're off to Florida to represent Lambda Lambda Lambda at a gathering of various fraternities. Cue the Alpha Betas seeking revenge for being booted off the Greek Council at the end of the first movie and silliness ensues. The comedy in this series never came thick & fast ... it didn't have the machine gun yuks of Airplane, and it wasn't in the era of gross-out gags of which American Pie is the most representative. Basically - Nerds in Florida, Alpha Beta's seek revenge, wins & losses occur, the Nerds win.

"The Next Generation" sees a fresh batch of geeks arrive at Adams College (from the first movie), which is now run by the nerds, but an old Alpha Beta alumni isn't happy, so he recruits Ted McGinley from the first movie and makes him Dean in order to cause trouble for all Nerd kind. Wins and losses occur, Louis has to rediscover his identity, and the Nerds win ... although part of the final act was missing for some strange reason after the DVR decided to skip 5 minutes.

"Nerds In Love" finds Booger getting married to the chick from that episode of Friends where Joey couldn't have sex, so he was repeatedly "there for her" (due to a paid fertility study). Hot chicks seem to have entirely come around to the idea that "once you go Nerd, you never go back", so the geeks are fighting off the ladies with sticks. A baby is on the way, a soon-to-be-father-in-law and his son-in-law attempt to sabotage the wedding for the sake of the 'blue blood' family tree, wins & losses occur - Nerds conquer, and everybody lives happily ever after.

At least the second had some of the edge of the first, because unfortunately the third and fourth were PG-rated TV-Movies.

Date Night:
Steve Carrell and Tina Fey are a "boring married couple from New Jersey", and somehow they find themselves chased by the mob in the Big Apple. Silliness ensues, with a few good gags and a likableness from the two leads. Comedy cannon fodder for a brain-off night.

Cemetery Junction:
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's coming-of-age comedy drama is a skilled balance of romanticism and realism set during the summer of 1973 in Reading, a place the 'Swinging Sixties' seemingly passed-by. Filled with well-observed slices of period history (e.g. social attitudes to sex, race and class), it's well worth having a look at. Thoughtful, enjoyable, but also real, the characters are grounded and satisfyingly complex and the plot moves with a considered and controlled sense of pace. Definitely worthwhile seeing.

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