Monday, September 10, 2012

Netflix Review: Varsity Blues (1999)

Aside from a football uniform, Scott Caan's basic wardrobe was his birthday suit and a cowboy hat to cover up his junk. In this scene, Tweeder steals a cop car and picks up a bunch of horny sophomores trying to help out his bro Mox (Beek) by trying to get him to join in the fun, how did I miss this in High School?
I was hanging out with a friend yesterday and we were trying to find something to watch on Netflix Instant. Lo and behold, one of their 'new releases' is that football sex teen drama from the 90's Varsity Blues (1999) Starring everyone's favorite Dawson, James 'The Beeks' Van Der Beek. It's one of those quintessential 90's teen films, and one of the first categorical 'MTV movies' to put style over substance, and create basically a 2-hour long music video out of a dismal unrealistic plot. But for chrissake is it fun to watch. 
The Beeks plays a young intellectual in the making Johnny Moxon who just happens to live in bumblefuck no-where, Texas and is pressured into a life that revolves around high school football games and Nuremberg Rally type upheaval over them. I really enjoy his V.O.'s throughout the film because I hate subtlety. In them he explains how in a small town in the Deep South, football is akin to fanatical religion and it's hard to speak out against it because everyone is always pressuring you to win and be the best.
Lots of bro-love in this movie.
Because he is the only one with more than two brain cells knocking against each other upstairs, he can't really maintain sympathy from his circle of friends which include All-State, star quarterback, blonde Greek god-like dumbfuck Lance Harbor (Paul Walker), hornier than shit wide-receiver (no pun intended) Charlie Tweeder (Scott Caan), and fatter than shit missing link Billy Bob (Ron Lester), also there's the token black guy who's name we don't learn until the last 10 minutes of the film, way to check all the 90's teen cliche boxes, Varsity Blues (1999). 
But even though the women in this film are all supporting players they steal the movie whole-sale. Even if you never snuck into a screening of it when it first came out as a teenager, you still remember one scene out of that film if nothing else; I don't even know why I have to tell you that it's the 'whipped cream scene'. Even when I say 'whipped cream scene' you can guess which film I'm talking about. It was such a landmark of the 90's, it's basically the OJ Simpson trial, Dolly the sheep, and the whipped cream scene from Varsity Blues (1999).
The most famous scene of the 90's.

Aside from a plot point being that everyone's Sex Ed teacher is actually a nasty, nasty stripper (oh the irony!), there's of course the storyline of Lance's girlfriend Darcy. Darcy (Ali Larter) tries to seduce Mox after her boyfriend Lance almost dies on the field with a knee injury so that she can still superglue herself to a man that's 'going places' and doesn't end up turning tricks at the truck stop. The way she does this is strip naked and put whipped cream on her lady parts. A feat that actually doesn't end up working but made for one hell of a celluloid moment. I can't tell you how I know this, but whipped cream doesn't actually work in that kind of situation, and even the filmmakers later admitted that they used shaving cream combined with mousse to create the makeshift bikini but that doesn't sound nearly as sexy, in fact it sounds poisonous.
Ali Larter was one of the few that ended up keeping her career after her adventures in dessert toppings. If you think about it, not many more survived MTV films of that era. I mean, Paul Walker has all of the Fast and Furious films but that's something I don't think you EVER put on your resume, 625 million at the box office or no 625 million at the box office.
All in all, the film is quite exclusively shit, but it did teach me a few things. 1. Sports always looks more interesting when there's Foo Fighters playing. 2. What tight end does (again, no pun intended) 3. When in doubt, whipped cream bikini. If you want the man of your dreams, whipped cream bikini. If you are little more than a gimmick, whipped cream bikini. If you don't have a script and need filler, whipped cream bikini. If close to death from malnutrition and all you have left in your refrigerator is whipped cream, whipped cream bikini. 4. Scott Caan has a really nice ass. So for those life lessons and more, thank you, Varsity Blues.

Below, some clips. Catch it on Instant. It's not Braveheart (which is also recently on Instant) but it's catchy in that special stupid way, and there's naked people in it. Also, really good 90's-aesthetic steady-cam sport montages to popular music.

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