[box cover]

Slackers

Slackers certainly is not the worst college comedy to come off a major-studio assembly line. Devon Sawa stars as Dave, a charming campus lothario who, along with his two roommates, has ambitiously fooled, pranked, and cheated his way through every test and accomplishment on his transcript. However, with graduation on the horizon his weakness for slim beauty Angela (Revlon model James King) exposes an elaborate mid-term scam to Angela's opportunist stalker, Ethan (Jason Schwartzman). Ethan blackmails Dave and his cohorts (Jason Segel and Michael C. Maronna) with the threat of expulsion unless they can hook him up with the girl of his psychotic dreams. While much in Slackers is a tired rehash of Ferris Bueller-esque hijinks, crass sexual situations, and loathsomely empty "romantic" crap, the movie manages to register enough amusement that it's not agonizing. While Sawa and King are entirely forgettable leads with zero presence and chemistry, Schwartzman makes the most of unbalanced Ethan (imagine a splice between his sweet stalker Max in Rushmore and, say, Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle), adding a fresh jolt of unpredictable quirkiness. Also good is Segel (hilarious in his TV appearances on Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared), despite the weakness of his present material. First-time director Dewey Nicks' style is bright and appealing, and although uninspired screenwriter David H. Steinberg spends most of the film dabbling in the ordinary, he does come up with a few surprising moments worth a good laugh. Also featuring That '70s Show's Laura Prepon in a stupid, useless and gratuitous role as Angela's slut roommate. Columbia TriStar's Slackers is presented in a fine anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Trailer, keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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