by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
BLURAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Amy Poehler as GAYLE O’BRIEN
Parker Posey as BECKY ST. GERMAINE
Rachel Dratch as JUDI JOSKOW
Amber Tamblyn as ASHLEY
Seth Meyers as WILLIAM
Sophie Monk as MASON MASTERS
Jonathan Sadowski as DOUG
Missi Pyle as CHARLENE
Jane Lynch as SENATOR HARTMANN
Available on DVD, Blu-ray
and On Demand June 2
Studio: Warner Premiere
Directed by: Ryan Shiraki
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Amy Poehler, Parker Posey and Rachel Dratch play three women who have been friends since college. Always the nerds, they never had much of a social life, but they stuck together and even took lame vacations together. When one of them is asked by her Senator boss to keep an eye on her daughter’s spring break trip, the three women travel to South Padre and discover what partying is all about. The trip becomes an eye opening experience for all of them, revealing their wild sides, their regrets and their true feelings about their lives.
WHAT I LIKED
Ever since their early days on “Saturday Night Live,” I have been a fan of both Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch. Likewise, I always enjoyed Parker Posey as an actress... at least in her independent work (because let’s face it, her parts in movies like “Josie and the Pussycats” and “Superman Returns” have really kinda stunk). So, it was great to see these ladies take the leads in their own movie.
The best part of this movie was the first half, which is not unexpected for a comedy like this one. There is some very smart humor in the lives of the characters, such as Amy Poehler playing a former chubby girl whose calling is as a dog trainer or Parker Posey’s early days of being a crazy cat lady. Fellow SNL alum Seth Meyers has a pretty funny turn as Rachel Dratch’s ambiguously gay fiancé.
“Spring Breakdown” isn’t exactly the kind of movie that you would expect. It’s not loaded with boobs and jiggling butts (although there are some nice covered jigglies in the middle of the movie), which I’ve heard as a criticism from people seeking a raunchy R-rated spring break comedy. However, the film has to be approached as a goofy comedy about three women rather than a college spring break film.
The cast is what holds up this movie, especially with the witty comic material in the first two acts. Supporting actors like Jane Lynch as the gun-toting Senator and Missi Pyle as the aging spring break barfly add to the humor. Also, Poehler’s real-life husband Will Arnett has a very funny and memorable turn in the beginning as a thwarted suitor.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Considering this is a spring break movie, and it carries an R rating, one might expect something more along the lines of “Superbad.” The film is like this, to a certain degree, only instead of focusing on a gaggle of nerdy guys, it’s focus is a gaggle of nerdy girls. It’s a female-centric spring break movie, so would-be audience members might not get what they’re expecting.
I figure if you’re going to slap a film with an R-rating, you might as well drop in a few gratuitous T&A shots to reach the broadest audience possible.
And while I did enjoy the movie, the second half is the weaker portion. Like many screwball comedies made, this film tries a little too hard to give some heart to its characters and ends up refocusing on an only so-so story rather than give us more really funny comedic moments.
The Blu-ray comes with a digital copy disc for DVD players and portable media devices, which makes it more versatile than your average purchase.
The feature disc includes a commentary track by director Ryan Shiraki and Rachel Dratch, who together came up with the story and serve as executive producers on the film. This gives decent insight into the movie itself and offers a nice view of Dratch as more than just the goofy girl on a sketch comedy show.
Other features include deleted scenes and a gag reel. Additional features are available via the BD-Live function on your player, but I could only access the trailer itself, which isn’t worth the internet connection and memory stick on your player.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler and Parker Posey.