How immature we all were at one time. In my late teens and early twenties, whenever some dumb, sex-joke fueled comedy came to the theater, I used to see them as a matter of course. With this, I give you EuroTrip (2004), which, in addition to having the childish humor already mentioned, relies on every conceivable stereotype about Europe to fill in the enormous gaps. I may not be the biggest fan of the cancel culture, but when I think back on films like this, part of me is appreciative that studios no longer stoop to this level of dreck.
Unlike what you might expect from the title, EuroTrip begins in the staid confines of suburban Ohio. It is graduation day Scott “Scotty” Thomas (Scott Mechlowicz) and his best friend Cooper Harris (Jacob Pitts). The normally festive day is interrupted by the news that Scotty’s girlfriend Fiona (Kristin Kreuk) is dumping him. On top of that, at a graduation party, the lead signer for the band (Matt Damon) providing the entertainment sings a catchy tune called “Scotty Doesn’t Know,” implying that Fiona had been cheating on Scotty with the front man. This leads Scotty to make the awful to decision to get hammered. Upon returning home, he finds an email from his German pen pal Mieke Schmidt (Jessica Boehrs), who he calls Mike because he believes Mieke to be a guy. In Scotty’s stupor, he takes her suggestion that they meet up during her upcoming journey to the United States as a pass at him, and angrily tells her off. The next morning, his younger brother Bert (Nial Iskhakov), who understands German better than Scotty, snoops on the messages. Laughing at Scotty’s ineptitude, Bert informs his older brother that Mieke is a common girl’s name in Germany, and that she had been wanting to meet up with Scotty. It also helps that he now realizes that the good-looking girl in the one picture he had of the Schmidts had been Mieke. Panicked, he and Cooper decide to fly to Europe to find Mieke and apologize. Scotty believes the connection they had through their electronic missives could be start of a genuine relationship, while Cooper goes along with them for, ahem, other reasons. Their goal is Berlin, but the place they land first is London. Knowing that the legal drinking age over there is eighteen, they decide to head for the nearest pub, and end up in one full of rabid Manchester United fans. That is a football club, or soccer as call it, by the way. Though their initial greeting by the revelers is initially chilly, Scotty’s, er, quick thinking in singing a song earns them the respect of their leader (Vinnie Jones). Another drunken night ensues, and Scotty and Cooper awaken on a bus headed to Paris with the rest of Manchester supporters on their way to see their team play in France. They depart from their new acquaintances, and in Paris they meet up with their friends from high school, the fraternal twins Jamie (Travis Wester) and Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg). Following an aborted attempt to get into the Louvre, due to a long line and a mime fight, the four decide to accompany each other to Berlin. Naturally, the first place they go is Amsterdam. There are pot brownies, weird sex chambers into which Cooper wanders, and Jamie gets robbed while having somebody do “stuff” to him in an alley. The long and short of all this is that they do not have the money to make it to Berlin, and must hitchhike. Thanks to Scotty’s awful German, the truck driver that agrees to take them nowhere near Berlin, drops them off in Bratislava. Despite being one of the supposedly depressing, former Eastern bloc countries, they find the exchange rate works well for them and are able to stretch what little money they have remaining. Unfortunately, a night of drinking absinthe in a nightclub leads to Jamie and Jenny making out with each other. Eager to put the night behind them, they are able to find their way to Berlin and to the Schmidt residence. Unfortunately, when they get there, they find that Mieke has gone to Vatican City on a summer tour. This is when Jamie comes to their rescue, selling his expensive camera for the cost of all them being able to get to Rome. Because this movie lacks any kind of nuance, after a few “zany” hijinks (more on this in a moment), Mieke and Scotty finally find one another and have sex in a confessional. While this takes place, Jamie had been busy giving an impromptu tour of the Vatican, which is attended by a representative of Arthur Frommer travel guides. So impressed is this representative that he hires Jamie to stay in European and work for their company. From their Cooper, Jenny, and Scotty travel back to the United States, with Jenny and Scotty hooking up along the way (sigh). We conclude with everyone starting their first year of college. Apparently, Scotty’s school makes the same mistake he did, and Mieke and Scotty are rooming with each other.
If you made it through my plot synopsis of EuroTrip, and you have read some of my other reviews, you can probably guess what is coming next. So, let us take a closer look at their little excursion in Vatican City. The “zany” hijinks I alluded to before involves Scotty accidentally ringing the bell to signal that the Pope has died. Cooper and Scotty have wandered into a restricted area, and Cooper is goofing off wearing the Pope’s mitre. That is the tall, pointy hat the Pope wears on ceremonial occasions. Cooper accidentally gets too close to a candle while wearing the mitre, and it catches on fire. In the oh just so funny tussle between the two to extricate themselves from a situation spiraling out of control, the burning mitre gets tossed into a fireplace. The resulting smoke is taken as a sign that a new Pope has been chosen, and everyone joyously gathers to see who is the person. A confused Scotty emerges onto the famous balcony overlooking St. Peter’s square, wrapped in curtains and topped with another mitre, all of which gives him the appearance of the next to occupy St. Peter’s Chair. As you might expect, the irreverence of this whole sequence is quite grating to my Catholic sensibilities, though the worst is when Mieke and Scotty do their deed in a confessional. The stuff with Scotty being confused as the next Pope is not funny, although there are some parallels with what actually happens in these moments, although the real process takes far longer. To have two young, unmarried people having sex where people go to bare their souls to God is plainly offensive, particularly when you take into account the raunchiness with which it is filmed. Most moments in films that are contrary to Catholic teaching go unnoticed because the filmmakers are not doing anything intentional. Unless the ones who made this movie are complete idiots (which is a separate discussion) a scene like this one crosses a line.
There is no reason to watch EuroTrip. Indeed, there was no reason to watch it in 2004, and part of me wishes I had never laid eyed on it. For everyone out there named Scott, I recommend that you do not watch this movie.