Late to the whipped cream bikini! A review of Varsity Blues

Late to the whipped cream bikini! A review of Varsity Blues

Mox: Playing football at West Canaan may have been the opportunity of your lifetime, but I don’t want your life!

Varsity Blues Movie Poster

Varsity Blues

In the late 1990s there was a flood of teen movies making waves in Hollywood (GET IT? FLOOD, WAVES?). This trend appeared to start with Clueless in 1995, and included greats like She’s All That, Bring It On, 10 Things I Hate About You, American Pie, and Never Been Kissed. As a high school student from 1998-2002, I was the perfect target audience for these films. And although I rented most of these movies from Blockbuster rather than seeing them with high school friends, I was a sucker for this crap (except for Clueless, that is NOT crap).

Somehow I managed to miss Varsity Blues. Maybe it was because I didn’t really like football in high school. Maybe it was because I didn’t watch Dawson’s Creek and found James Van Der Beek more creepy than attractive. Maybe it was because I was wary of MTV films (that reminds me, I still haven’t seen Election). Maybe this movie was unappealing as a freak and a theatre kid. Whatever the reason, I went out of my way to avoid the movie.

After incorrectly attributing “I don’t want your life!” to Heathers for years, which is strange because I absolutely adore Heathers, my husband finally talked me into watching Varsity Blues. (Now that I think about it, the quotes “I don’t want your life!” and “I love my dead gay son!” are pretty similar. That’s my excuse.)

What a waste of time.

It was mediocre, boring, somewhat confusing and for half of the movie I was dying for it to end. Like most teen movies (again, except for Clueless), the characters were seriously underdeveloped. There’s the star quarterback who got hurt, the backup quarterback who was smart enough to get into Brown and also happened to be an amazing quarterback, the cheerleading slut, the fat dumb guy who cries a lot and pukes into a washing machine, the very short other guy who is weird, the black guy who deals with racism and also gets hurt, the white girl, the stripper teacher, and the mean, sometimes racist and definitely sketchy coach. But you never learn much about anyone, except a) in Texas football is king and b) this particular Texas city is awful and people want to escape and also c) some parents have their priorities out of whack. Cool. Yawn.

Oh, and the Texas accents? Good god.

I swear that’s why the best, or at least the more effective, teen movies are comedies. You don’t need a ton of character development when you’re just laughing about a bunch of asshole teenagers lacking any depth or self-awareness. Are there any good team dramas? I can’t think of any. Oh and horror movies, because then you get to watch the assholes get killed. That probably makes me sound creepy but seriously: Scream, Carrie (or so I hear, won’t watch it), Halloween, A Nightmare of Elm Street and so on. I know I’m not wrong.

Face palm moment: Honestly, what happened to Jon Voight? I thank him for his dedication to the art of film as it led to one of the best worst movies of all time (Anaconda) but seriously bro: you were in Midnight Cowboy. What are you doing with your life?

[Editor’s note: Kevin says that Jon Voight is getting decent reviews for his role in Ray Donovan so okay, there you go.]

Favorite part: I’m still not clear about what was going on with Mox’s brother and the various religions, but it was kind of funny. I think. Maybe.

[Editor’s note: Kevin says it has something to do with MASH.]

The “I missed that in pop culture trivia” moment: The whipped cream bikini scene that so many people reference was a snoozer.

Regrettable tardiness scale (out of 10): Zero out of ten. I know I’m probably just a big grump but I felt like watching this was a waste of time. Anyway, I’m already watching Friday Night Lights and it’s way better.


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