Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Highway to Havasu: Movie Review

Indie version of highschool boys trying to get laid.

Highway to Havasu is an independent raunchy buddy comedy. Not unique in anyway, but it is the overlapping of the two styles that makes it appear different, on the surface at the beginning, at least. The plot is your typical high school boys want to get laid and embark on a ridiculous in-your-face sex-filled adventure – which Hollywood has attempted many times over, as have indie filmmakers, but a lot fewer in number. 2017

Directed by: Jeff Janke

Screenplay by: Jeff Janke

Starring: Andrew Fromer, Caleb Thomas

The independent nature of the film is the better aspect, but it only accounts for so much appeal. There’s a surreal-like atmosphere presented at the very beginning with this high school being just a bit too far removed from an actual high school which makes everything a little off-kilter. I liked that. It made everything a bit more interesting. Questions like why are all these teachers sex-starved porn stars? And why is our lead character this incredibly charismatic, confident, quick-witted guy if he’s also one of the geeky uncool kids? Make it seem like it’s more interesting than it actually is.

The movie quickly devolves into boys being uninteresting stupid boys and girls being sex objects whose only feature are their perfect bodies. I am then left with the conclusion that the interesting surreal-like, off-kilter atmosphere at the beginning was by accident.

The lead character is Billy (Andrew Fromer) who hosts the high school’s morning radio show. He opens the movie with fantastic energy and Fromer gives a no-holds-barred performance as a sex-starved teen. His quick wit and non-stop determination make it easy to get into the movie and get past the lame plot and imperfect dialogue. However, that can only carry the movie so far because it quickly becomes clear that Billy is never going to say anything other than his obsession with girls’ anatomy, male genitalia and getting his friends laid.

Billy's friends include the uncool/geeky Max who has never had sex. A popular character in these kinds of movies, and is not improved upon here. Nothing about him is interesting or funny. The third friend is the heart-broken one. Dumped by his girlfriend at the beginning of the movie, Dylan is in a bit of a haze and can be somewhat amusing as Billy drags him into adventures that he’s not entirely aware of, but his finding love storyline also doesn’t improve the film much.

Similar Titles:

21 & Over (2013) - Great dialogue and likable actors makes it a nice addition to the crass comedy genre.

That Awkward Moment (2014) - Funny moments and moments that just fall flat.