It occurs to me that only through the massive black hole that recently developed in my brain I have been able to enjoy Screwballs. You see, I can consciously recognize that there are no likable characters, an absurd plot, and horrific acting that is pervasive enough to reach every end of this movie, defiling not only my eyes but also what is left of my credibility as a snobby connoisseur. I didn't just shut my brain off to enjoy this movie, I shipped it from a horrific vacuum to another dimension.
Welcome to Taft and Adams, where they replace the "and" with an ampersand to create T&A High School, something that the screenwriter stayed up for days to envision, I'm sure. T&A is your typical High School minus the black people and plus more double entendres than you can shake a giant plastic wiener at. Keep in mind, I'm well aware of the juvenile humor that infests high schools, local or otherwise, and feel it is no stretch to say that these characters have easily beaten any degenerate thought in a sophomoric joke contest you could muster. Almost everything in this movie has two meanings as a tribute to that special ambiguity that helps me avoid sexual harassment suits at work.
Taft and Adams High is also overflowing with a Saved By The Bell camaraderie where almost everyone is a friend that has joined militantly for the same cause: to see the class prude's bare-naked breasts. An admirable goal, I'm sure. Up for this task we have the jock, the heart throb, the fat guy, the nerd, and the new guy whom doesn't have a particular flavor. The one spectacular thing that the new guy does have is the eye of the most attractive girl at the school, Bootsie Goodhead. Yes, you did just read that correctly: her name is Bootsie Goodhead. In fact, almost every character has a ridiculous name but her's is just my favorite.
To continue, these breast hunters will do anything to catch a glimpse of their classmate's bosoms. Their failures are our successes as with each passing trial and error experiment, their plot becomes more and more outrageous. Funny enough, I felt like I was watching a Wile E. Coyote cartoon for most of the film, if only Wile E. Coyote were a predator of the sexual variety. The team tries using hypnosis, crazy mirrors, underground spy chambers, and magnets that he most likely bought from the ACME company. Does any of it work? I won't give you the satisfaction.
From a technical standpoint, Screwballs is a pretty simple straight-forward teen sex comedy, minus pastries on Jason Biggs's penis, with nothing all that special. I'm sure you'll roll your eyes just as I did several times while watching the load of gags they shoot at you. The transfer, as you may notice, is fantastic. The deleted scenes, which were not remastered, show the insane difference in picture quality. With that, it may be worth mentioning that the deleted scenes are all in Spanish as apparently they were only available on the Spanish cut of the VHS. Ridiculous? A little bit.
I suppose with all it's awful and crude nonsense, Screwballs is still a pretty hilarious movie, even if only in retrospect. It's definitely worth seeing, but keep in mind not to expect anything beyond freshmen intelligence. It's not an especially smart film, which should be expected by the fact that the main characters are in high school, but look like they're in their mid to late twenties. Again though, it's definitely worth seeing.
On our grading scale, I'm actually giving a three. It may not deserve it, but then if these characters look so old, it's probably because they are and they probably failed math.
-Ryan freaking Miller!