Premature debuted at SXSW in March and was immediately dubbed as Groundhog Day meets American Pie. It borrows the repeating day structure of the former and the crude humor and high school setting of the latter. Director Dan Beers cites John Hughes as an influence and the movie does have an ’80s vibe, but it’s more Porky’s or Screwballs than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for time loop movies. Groundhog Day, Source Code, and Edge of Tomorrow use looping plot devices to great effect. There’s something satisfying about watching someone live the same events over and over and seeing the different outcomes. In Premature, John Karna (Bindlestiffs) plays Rob, a high school student with a big college interview and a study date in which he loses his virginity in embarrassing fashion. Every time he ejaculates, the day starts over and he has another shot at getting it right.
This is a fun movie hindered by a weak script. It is well-directed and the production value is there, but the writing is choppy and too many jokes fall flat. Beers does a fine job of capturing the feel of an ’80s sex comedy, but at times Premature is unnecessarily crass (mayonnaise?) and it would have benefited from a touch of the charm/wit that make Groundhog Day so special.
Houston-raised actor John Karna gets better as the movie progresses and his character realizes that there are no consequences for his actions. It takes a while to get to that point though as Rob is a bit slow on the uptake. Alan Tudyk, Craig Roberts, and Adam Riegler have some funny moments in supporting roles and Katie Findlay makes the most of a flimsy part.
Premature is a fun one to watch with an audience or group of friends. I’m surprised it’s not getting a wider release. I would’ve loved it as a teenager and I think it will eventually find it’s audience once it starts streaming. If you have the chance to see it in a theater though, and you like raunchy comedies or movies with time loops, check it out.
3 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
Now playing in Houston at Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park
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