See Jason Schwartzman of Rushmore fame lick the septuagenarian breasts of 1950s screen sex bomb Mamie Van Doren! See the guy from the Ameritrade commercials turn a sock puppet into a c**k puppet! Yet despite such, shall we say, unique sights, “Slackers” is ultimately as generic as its title.
Screen Gems might as well have slapped the name “Another Teen Movie” on the film, for when you cut through the added layers of crassness, that’s exactly what you get. The ever-vanilla Devon Sawa plays Dave, the ringleader of a trio of slackers cheating their way through college. When one of Dave’s schemes is discovered by the ironically nicknamed “Cool Ethan” (Schwartzman), the socially awkward geek forces him to help in his stalker-like efforts to secure lust object Angela (James King). Do I need to say more beyond this? Dave and Angela fall for each other, a fact that Dave tries to hide from the increasingly unhinged Ethan.
Schwartzman’s outrageously bizarre performance, punctuated by two amusing musical performances, is one of only two halfway original touches brought on by director Dewey Nicks; the other is a late-in-film choral rendition of Ace of Base’s “The Sign.” The “surprising” celebrity cameos aren’t, and for all the surface shock value of the two things mentioned in the first paragraph, it’s still just one step removed from standard issue teen movie raunch; the same goes for a scene where Laura Prepon of “That ’70s Show” (playing Angela’s sex-mad roommate) pleasures herself with a vibrator. Such an absence of creativity shows that the title not only describes its main characters, but the lazy people behind the camera as well.