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Film Reviews: Eastern College (2009) - By Josh Samford
Posted on Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 22:27:28 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane

I think no matter how pretentious a film viewer I might become, or anyone might become for that matter, I think the "coming of age" story is still one that hits close to home for all of us. A good "coming of age" story simply has to deal with several very universal issues that we all must take part in as we grow and mature. It's something that seems terribly simple, but at the same time it requires a tremendous amount of honesty with ones self that is sometimes hard to achieve. Eastern College, from the outside might look like your run of the mill "teen comedy" of the day. The sort of flick with aspirations of being as good as one of those American Pie sequels that hit DVD shelves every now and then. However, it's true intentions are a bit more honest than that. Sitting it alongside Euro Trip or any number of teen comedies out there these days doesn't really seem worthwhile to me. It's a film with a more offbeat sense of humor, more in line with the quirkier youtube comedians out there these days. It's simply a bit more hip than what you might be used to in this sort of setting. Not that much of the comedy isn't based around simple debauchery. That's a guarantee. However, there's more character focus here and a definite sense of something unique.

Eastern College tells the story of four roommates in their last summer at an art school aptly named: Eastern College. The plan for the summer is to simply throw as many parties as possible, get laid as many times as possible and to drink enough booze to send their liver's into a free falling nosedive of despair. However, each one of them will find something slightly more worthwhile as the summer goes along. With a new head for the board of directors, who has her own goals for the school, it seems as if Eastern simply might not stand come next year. Not unless the guys can get together and form a plan to save the school and save their pot-smoking/beer swilling professor's job. How will it all turn out? Well, you'll just have to track it down to find that out won't you?

James Francis Flynn delivers a unique little film in Eastern College. While it might not be great in all facets, I'd say it's definitely pretty good all around. The strongest selling point for the film would have to be the performances from the cast. Sure, this isn't exactly Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, but as far as comedic performances go this film is very well stacked with a lot of very talented young actors. This sort of film can usually be judged on just how well the lead actors do and I would say that by and large everyone lives up to their roles in pitch perfect unison. Even the smaller roles are performed with a very professional gusto, which simply helps keep an already stable independent comedy standing upright. The main principals are all hilarious in their own right and really deliver in their characters. Leading on in their bits together, at times it feels as if the movie simply moves into sketch comedy bits as the characters deliver odd one-liners and get into some wild situations; but it's all in great fun. Far funnier than many of the teen comedies I have had the misfortune of sitting through. Especially in this day and age of Hannah Montanna-esque Disney Channel comedy.

Told in an almost Annie Hall fashion, the story consistently moves forward in time without really letting you know where it's going or even "when" in the summer it is. Which leads me to maybe the one weakness of the film, which I thought was the editing. Although we do need to get to know these characters in order to make the conclusion of the film as palpable in emotion as it is, clocking in at roughly 100 minutes there are points in the story that simply seemed as if they could have been shaved down a hair in order to keep the plot moving along at a more brisk pace. Not that the film is unbearable at it's relatively short length, but I just think it could have been a slightly more tightened story. With that said, it's only a little more than an hour and a half so what the hell am I complaining for? Eastern College is a fun and surprisingly sentimental coming of age teenage romp. There are some boobs, some booze and some drugs; but it's the memories it dregs up in all of us that makes it memorable. With some great comedic performances along the way, it's definitely one to look out for. You can read more about the film over at the official Myspace or from the official webpage Eastern College. Look out for the DVD, which should be arriving towards the end of the year!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 22:27:28 Mountain Daylight Time Film Reviews |
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