June 5, 2013
Rob Bradford as Nupy
Blake Merriman as Richard
Nick Vergara as Flounder (Shawn)
On the evening before the official start of Winter break, college kids prepare for one great party in the dormitory. Richard studiously hunches over his desk – trying to finish a paper before his roommate – Flounder – scares him with a knife. After pleading with Richard to go out with him and Nupy (collapsed in their room between the beds), Flounder attempts to gain Richard’s acquiescence to some drinks in the dorm room. Meanwhile, the Resident Advisor (RA) for the building or floor (it is unclear) reviews the rules for the party in the common room. While reviewing the rules, someone begins laughing, who another dismisses as high (but she doesn’t really mean ‘high’). Upstairs, Nupy disappears from the dorm room, only to have Flounder reveal to Richard that Nupy possesses superhuman powers of partying. But trouble lurks when Nupy insists on beginning the night’s partying in Richard and Flounder’s room, even as Richard refuses to give up writing his paper.
Bored? A little confused? If you decide to see this piece of projectile vomit (I choose my words carefully), you will grow accustomed to such feelings. Drinking Games is not a horror movie. Drinking Games is not a good movie. Drinking Games has the feel of a movie about college, written by an eight year-old who attempted to synthesize little snippets of knowledge about something he has never experienced. But sadly, the story is the least of this film’s problems. Among the more annoying aspects – and the competition was stiff – is the awful editing. For example, when Flounder scares Richard with a knife, it is out of the case in the lead-up shot, but in the case when Richard notices it (and close-ups of the knife ensure that this is not a throw-away goof). The sound also alternates independent of your volume control from low to high, then back again. Clearly somebody on the set was high after all: The guy operating the boom mic.
Those of you who are still reading have probably guessed that the acting lives up to the same quality as the editing. The writing/directing is also some of the worst imaginable. For example, Richard’s voice surprisingly begins to narrate twenty minutes in, before abruptly ceasing and inexplicably beginning again towards the end. At times Richard seems to be the focal character, but at other times the story seems to be centered on the unsympathetic Nupy character. Yet most insulting is that we find Richard studiously working on a paper, even though classes ended that day and he is leaving school – never to return – in the morning. Yet, his heart belongs to a girl he was avoiding. Thus, halfway through the film he forgets that which was seemingly the most important endeavor in the world to him and pursues his lady love. Meanwhile Nupy and Flounder don’t exactly get a party going, so much as encourage a couple people to stop by.
In college writing workshops, students are typically warned against writing about college, as the 4-year experience is considered to not be real, in the sense that life matters which concern working members of the community are insulated from students ensconced in a campus environment. Ultimately, problems students face are viewed by the rest of the world as unimportant. Although some comedies have been the exceptions that proved the rule, the advice is doubly true for movies, especially ones that try to be dramas. Sadly, the producers of Drinking Games decided to back a project that attempts to take a college student’s mundane conflict between studying and partying seriously. Once more, they backed a really, really bad one, almost entirely composed of meaningless (and boring) bickering between roommates.
Any dialogue (and the entire film is nothing but dialogue in a VERY small space) that could serve as character development only serves as life-sapping filler which removes even a so-good-its-bad level of enjoyment from the film. Terrible. Not a single redeeming feature in this horror of celluloid.