Fired Up Directed by: Will Gluck Cast: Nicholas D’Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer Running Time: 1 hr 20 min Rating: PG-13
Plot: Two popular football players decide to ditch football camp in favor of cheerleading camp in order to surround themselves with hot, randy chicks.
Who’s It For? Anyone who enjoys dumb, saucy comedies. Did you like Van Wilder? You’ll like Fired Up.
Expectations: I thought the previews looked funny, but then everyone around me seemed to think this was going to be another painful, sub-par gross-out flick. Turns out those people laughed even harder than I did, so the joke is definitely on them. Nyah-nyah, cynics!
Eric Christian Olsen as Shawn: The chemistry between Shawn and Nick makes this movie work and Olsen kicks ass as the unrepentant wiseacre sidekick. The scene where he discovers that he’s almost changed into a decent human being with “sensitivity and empathy” is a crack up—he’s the perfect cherubic devil. Score: 7
Nicholas D’Agosto as Nick: He's just marvelous in general. He set every scene on fire as a star debater in Rocket Science and he’s just so precious and easy on the eyes in general. Yes, he’s in his thirties and he’s playing a high school kid—suspend your disbelief, people—but he pulls it off with his crooked smile and “aw-shucks” good looks. Score: 7
Sarah Roemer as Carly: Roemer does the job as the one female with brains and self-respect. She’s also a deadringer for Gwyneth Paltrow’s younger sister. She’s lovely to look at and she works hard, but this is a buddy movie—the love interest doesn’t usually fare so well. One of the few exceptions to this rule was Elizabeth Banks in Role Models. Roemer doesn’t hold her own quite as well. Score: 6
Talking: The dialogue is surprisingly fresh. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly inspired by any means, but it’s consistently unexpected—you think you know what a character is going to say and then the movie kicks you in the shins and runs off laughing. For the most part, the dialogue isn’t recycled from other movies, which means you may find yourself helplessly quoting favorite scenes afterwards. Score: 7
Sights: This is an over-sexed movie, so it pays particular attention to the glories of female anatomy. At the same time, there’s a really mischievous scene involving D’Agosto and Olsen doing some naked cheerleading with strategically placed pom-poms, so there’s something for the ladies as well. Score: 6
Sounds: The soundtrack is goofy, fast, and at times painfully deprecating. There is a particularly lovely song by Kate Nash called “Dickhead” (I’m serious, she sings like an angel), and I wanted to hide my head in shame when the main villain is howling along to Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping.” “Man, Chumbawumba,” he sighs, “the soundtrack to my life!” I … also … sorta used to like that song. Score: 8
Best Scene: When the two guys really embrace their inner-cheerleader it took me back to Some Like it Hot when Jack Lemmon asks Tony Curtis if his seams are straight. Too fun.
Ending: Absolutely predictable and perfectly satisfying. It’s not earth shattering, but it’s pleasing and the audience will leave happy (as they expected to).
Questions: This movie was written by dudes who didn’t seem to take into account that women are so communicative with one another, it comes close to being a collective consciousness. That being said, how would those two guys sleep with that many cheerleaders and not end up instantly blacklisted as lotharios?
Rewatchability: I’d see this movie again. And after I saw it again, I might rent it on a quiet evening, when I just needed to take a break from thinking or the harsh reality. And if it was on at a friend’s house, I would then (having already seen it twice over), stay and watch it again. What can I say; it’s dumb fluffy fun. I can dig it.
Life can be a bummer, which is the first tenet of Buddhism…actually it is “to live is to suffer,” but I’m paraphrasing, here. The economy stinks, people are losing their jobs, and all I have to do is glance sideways at the news to be blinded by some new horror of the real world. That being said, stupid, playful escapism serves an important role in society.
Fired Up is lowbrow, but pleasurably so—like eating pop tarts or playing in the dirt. Obviously, if you’re pained by anything that isn’t art house, you should probably avoid this movie. However, if all you need is a mindless break, this is the movie for you. Cheers to fresh, dumb comedies. Note: stay for the outtakes. Watching Olsen and D'Agosto monkeying around is as much fun as the rest of the movie.
Final Score: 7/10