Review: ‘Premature’ thinks crudeness is a teen’s path to success
The “Losin’ It” genre of sex-obsessed story lines receives a twist but not the revolution it needs with “Premature,” a rapidly wearying comedy that mistakes crudeness with humor.
Writer-director Dan Beers applies the “Groundhog Day” formula and runs out the clock until his high-school-senior protagonist Rob (John Karna) finally stumbles upon the key to un-repeating his day.
Rob wakes up every morning soaked in — prim readers, skip to the next review — his nocturnal emissions and the averted gaze of his mother (Katie Kneeland). Because he keeps returning to that morning, his efforts to ace his college admissions interview, gracefully cancel plans with his best friend (Katie Findlay) and bed the hot girl (Carlson Young) instead are for naught.
The script finds just enough variations to Rob’s recurring day, but the protagonist’s descent from sweet everyguy to entitled creep makes for an ugly journey. Gags like Rob feeling up a teacher in the middle of class are framed as titillatingly transgressive but merely come across as nasty and spiteful.
Rising talent Craig Roberts costars as the pervy foil, stuck with lines ranging from the unfunny to the offensive. Only Alan Tudyk, as the clownishly dowdy Georgetown interviewer, produces the one thing “Premature” strives so furiously yet fruitlessly to achieve: laughter.
MPAA rating: R.
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Playing: At Arena Cinema, Hollywood.
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