Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on November 14th, 2005
Virgin geek Virgil (Jay Michael Ferguson) sticks up for hot girl Kellie (Allison Lange) when a teacher rips into her for cheating on her history exam. Thankful for his bravery, Kellie invites Virgil over to her house to thank him.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, Sex and the Teenage Mind is a complete rehash of just about every teenage sex comedy ever made in the last 25 years. Even the red bikini featured on the DVD cover will have you screaming Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Ther…’s the loser, his wisecracking sidekick, the hot girl with a heart, her bitchy friend, the jock ex-boyfriend, the nosy parents, and the demeaning teacher. While there may be a chuckle once every half hour, most of the laughs to be had while watching Sex and the Teenage Mind will come from playing “pin the cliché on the 80′s movie.”
Jay Michael Ferguson plays Virgil with zero coolness. He’s a cross between James Van Der Beek and Carrot Top with bad facial gestures. Jason Biggs and Emile Hirsch (in American Pie and The Girl Next Door respectively) each played their characters as losers, but they were always cool in their own way. We rooted for them, and never felt embarrassed in our own living rooms by just watching their performances, like I did with Ferguson. But that doesn’t even compare to Virgil’s best friend, Dwayne (Michael Bower) who made me cringe with discomfort every time he appeared on screen. While some may enjoy watching people fail to be funny, I believe it’s a fate worse than death, especially in movies.
The females, thankfully, were much better. Allison Lange is professional as Kellie, the usual hot girl with a heart, but Molly Ringwald and Jennifer Love Hewitt need not worry, their titles as Teen Queens are safe for now. Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years) plays Kellie’s friend Debbie with just enough bitchiness and desperation and is thankfully discarded before she can become cruel or annoying. And you’ve got to give McKellar credit, here she is in 2005 playing a high school student nearly 15 years after she played one in The Wonder Years.
Unfortunately, the women can’t save this movie all by themselves. They have to compete with awkward camera angles and close-ups, bad dialogue, lame fart jokes, and too much porno-quality background music.
Finally, the biggest problem with Sex and the Teenage Mind is that it lacks the charm present in recent teenage sex comedies such as American Pie and The Girl Next Door. In other movies of the same genre, losing one’s virginity is always a mythical experience. Here, it’s not given enough weight to matter to any of the characters. So why should it matter to us?
Oh and another thing… if you’re going to make a direct-to-video teenage sex comedy, be sure it’s chock full of nudity. It’s probably the one (and most important) cliché the filmmakers forgot to add.
Sex and the Teenage Mind boats a decent 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen video transfer for a low-budget comedy, but there is as much grain present in the picture as there are clichés in the film, which is a lot. If you can get past the grain, there is a sharp picture underneath, but it’s nothing you will want to show your friends.
One thing that struck me while watching this movie was that it didn’t look like a movie. The video felt more like a TV show than it did a feature film. However the image is pretty good, minus the abundant grain that is always present.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track does what it needs to do. It handles dialogue and cheesy porno-quality background music with ease. The surrounds get little, if anything to do. Your poor satellites will feel as bored as you’ll likely be while watching this movie.
We get only two special features on this disc: Deleted Scenes and Trailers.
Deleted Scenes – Ah, so this is where they hid the nudity!!! These 3 deleted scenes are all extended scenes from the film that contain nudity but were cut. I don’t know why, after all this is a teenage sex comedy. Had they been in the film, I probably would have given the movie another half point. Call me shallow, but I’m a man who understands this genre.
As for trailers, here is what we are offered:
- Murder at the Presidio – while Sex and the Teenage Mind is a cheesy rip-off of teenage sex comedies, the trailer for this Lou Diamond Phillips film looks like a cheesy rip off of The General’s Daughter.
- Single White Female – strangely, the trailer for this 1992 Bridget Fonda film appears and makes you wonder what happened to “trailer voiceover guy.”
- Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough – another trailer for a low-budget movie.
The bottom line is that Sex and the Teenage Mind is about 20 years late to the prom. While it may have been considered “fresh” back in the early 80′s, in 2005 it comes off as stale as the bagel in Jeff Spicoli’s pants.
As far as the DVD, there is nothing in the way of audio, video or extras to warrant a purchase unless you’ve collected every single teenage sex comedy to date and Sex and the Teenage Mind is the only one you don’t have. Even then, your collection will probably be better off without it.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes