So over the past couple of days, I watched two time-travel movies that were both dreadful, but are so poles apart in their worldview I couldn’t resist treating them here as a double feature of sorts.
Judging by its trailer, PREMATURE (2014) wants to be a raunchy comedy with a heart, but it’s got no heart, little humor and a lot of sexism. Rob (John Karna) is having a crappy day, brightened by the chance to lose his virginity with school hottie Angela (Carlson Young)—bright enough he blows off his lifelong platonic female pal Gaby (Katie Findlay) to hook up. Angela tells Rob she’s touched he doesn’t treat her like a slut and makes her feel safe—and as they start to make out he comes prematurely and time loops back to the morning, when his mother catches him ejaculating from a wet dream. While the movie recycles fewer of the first day’s scenes than most time-loop films, it reuses that one a lot. A whole lot.
Rob discovers he reboots time whenever he ejaculates so we get lots of attempts at humor through him desperately trying to jerk off and escape the consequences of his actions (he never tries to see if not ejaculating until the next day would stop things). Which are frequently dickish: in one scene he grabs a teacher’s large breasts just to see if they’re real. The movie seems to share his view that as the teacher won’t remember once the reboot comes, it’s OK (or at least, won’t be punished). The only lessons Rob learns are selfish: standing up to his father about his future plans, and choosing Gaby the Good Girl to take his virginity over Angela the Slut (which is the Right Decision to break the time loop)
Which aside from the madonna/whore distinction also felt forced dramatically. Up until the end, Angela comes off as genuinely fond of Rob. Then it turns out she only wants to sleep with him so he’ll do her homework and term papers. Oh, and several people drive home the point by referring to her as The Big Slut.
Conversely, Gaby has never shown any particular romantic interest in him or vice-versa—though I concede in a Hollywood film it wasn’t at all surprising when she did. If they’d kept it at friendship and the message had been “I shouldn’t blow off my friend just to get laid.” it would have worked a little better … but not much. In the interests of not having a massively long post, I’ll post about the second film in a second post.