Friday, April 15, 2011

Theme Week - Broken Lizard; Puddle Cruiser

Closing out Broken Lizard Week, and as I said waaaay back on day one I would be covering these films in the order in which I saw them, so we start – of course, with their first film. A film they made just as they graduated college, so, of course the film deals with college life. It’s called Puddle Cruiser.

Let me just get this out of the way first – as far as Broken Lizard films go, I think that I will always put this last. For starters, it comes off as a pretty weak college drama with only the smallest glimmers of the comedy stylings that the guys have come to be known for. I could say that it is because I don’t identify with the college stereotypes that the guys put forward (first projects are always “write what you know”, so I can’t fault them), but really, at the center of this film is a rather dull love story. This time around it’s Lemme’s turn as hero, playing Felix, a student who goes and falls in love with Emily, the student lawyer in charge of defending his buddies, Matt and Grogan, who have been charged with breaking into a campus restaurant. Meanwhile, Emily’s other boyfriend (they are in a “seeing other people” relationship) gets pissed off, so Felix has to prove his manliness on the rugby field. I would say that hilarity ensues, but, outside of a few minor places, it really doesn’t. In fact, I was a little taken back by how much of a relationship drama this film is.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I don’t actually like this film, because I did like it; and it definitely shows the seeds of talent that the five guys would show in all later films, especially Heffernan and Soter as Grogan and Matt. This, being a college project, is the only one of their films that isn’t dripping with guest stars – in fact, the rest of the cast is made up of their classmates, teachers and family members (some work, and some don’t – that’s what you get when you work with amateurs).

All in all, it’s more a curiousity than anything, especially for Broken Lizard fans. Just don’t go in expecting the zaniness of their later work.

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