Film Review by Kam Williams
Selena Gomez and Star-Studded Cast Can’t Save Raunchy Teensploit
Rick Stevens (Nat Wolff) is a socially-awkward virgin experiencing pangs of sexual awakenings. That explains why he is trying to summon up the courage to make a play for Nina Pennington (Selena Gomez), the cute, high school classmate he’s had a crush on since the 6th grade.
Trouble is she already has a boyfriend, Kevin Carpenter (Austin Stowell), a handsome hunk who’s very jealous and possessive. Moreover, Rick is so distracted by his dysfunctional family that it’s hard for him to even have time for dating.
He’s mercilessly teased and abused by his deadbeat dad (Cary Elwes), and his alcoholic mother (Mary-Louise Parker) is recovering in the hospital after recently trying to kill herself. And to add insult to injury, she only left a suicide note addressed to Lucy, her pet dog.
Rick’s siblings have their issues, too. His sister, Kristen (Ashley Rickards), has secretly started working as a stripper, and his closeted brother, Steven (Mitch Hewer), is gay and afraid to come out.
Nevertheless, Rick is determined to summon up the nerve to approach the girl of his dreams, and finally jumps at the chance when their Latin teacher (Charles C. Stevenson, Jr.) drops dead during class, ironically while conjugating “vivo,” the verb for live. Nina accepts his offer to drive her to the funeral which, in his mind at least, will be their first date.
So unfolds Behaving Badly, a screwball comedy directed by Tim Garrick that’s far more raunchy than it is funny. This tasteless teensploitation flick
serves up generous helpings of gratuitous nudity and profanity but precious little that elicits any laughter.
Director Garrick throws everything at the screen but the kitchen sink in an almost desperate attempt to shock, forgetting in the process to craft a plausible plotline that might hold the attention of anyone with an I.Q. above room temperature. Before Rick is allowed to win Nina’s heart, he acts out repeatedly, prematurely ejaculating with a stripper and sleeping with his best’s friend’s (Lachlan Buchanan) mom (Elisabeth Shue) en route to sharing an incestuous moment in a men’s room with his own mother’s seductive alter ego.
He also gets mixed up with Lithuanian mobsters and lands in jail along with most of his guests after throwing a wild party in the house while his folks are away. The bottom-feeding production squanders the services of a star-studded cast featuring Oscar-nominees Elisabeth Shue (for Leaving Las Vegas) and Gary Busey (for The Buddy Holly Story), pop icons Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, Dylan McDermott, Jason Lee, Heather Graham and Patrick Warburton.
A misfiring misadventure not even recommended for diehard Selena Gomez fans.
Fair (1 star)
Rated R for crude sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive profanity
Running time: 96 minutes
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment