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Foreign Exchange (DVD Review)

31 Aug, 2008 By: David Greenberg

Foreign Exchange

Street 9/9/08
Universal/Screen Media
$24.98 DVD
Rated 'R' for crude sexual content, language and drug use.
Stars Jennifer Coolidge, Vanessa Lengies, Clint Howard, Tania Raymonde, Ryan Pinkston, Curtis Armstrong, Aaron Hill.

Could it be that the realities of senior year are unavoidably present for so many viewers that a genuine portrayal of the time is the last thing they want to see when they watch a movie?

Or is it simply that most people would much rather watch groups of sexy young hard-bodies get drunk, pull pranks, show some skin and get wild?

Given the success of last year's Superbad, the latest in the long line of bawdy teen sex romps that includes the "American Pie" series, the "Porky's" franchise and even the granddaddy of them all, Animal House, the answer seems to point in the direction of the latter.

None of the above is lost at all on director and co-writer Danny Roth, who has been responsible for, among other things, National Lampoon's Spring Break, which was essentially a collage of semi-raw footage of actual college students cavorting in any number of spring break hot spots linked together by the flimsiest of plots and hosted by Nikki Ziering.

Led by a bright, attractive and sometimes over-energetic cast headed by the appealing Pinkston and Lengies, Foreign Exchange involves the wacky hijinx that ensue when a group of foreign exchange students arrives at an Ohio high school. Veterans Coolidge and Armstrong shine in cameos as a Bush-obsessed, pro-life, impressively foul-mouthed principal and a dirty-minded dad, respectively. But Clint Howard almost steals the show in his one scene.

Unabashedly cheap and trashy, Roth's broad new film is an undeniably amusing exercise in toilet humor, caricatures of foreigners, stoner jokes and adolescent sex comedy (starting with a masturbation scene in the first minute, followed later by a painfully hilarious genital-area shaving scene) that, believe it or not, has moments of intelligence, a brief foray into socio-political commentary and even tenderness.

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