Fired Up! (2009)

Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying.
Length: 90 minutes
Grade: ADCB=B+/D
Budget: $20illion
Box Office: $23 million (17 U.S., 1 Intl., 5 DVD)

Written by: Freedom Jones (First movie)
Directed by: Will Gluck (First movie, although he was a writer and producer for the short-lived television show, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, which we loved)
Starring: Nicholas D’Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, and Sarah Roemer, with Molly Sims, Philip Baker-Hall, David Walton, and John Michael Higgins.

Two high school jock stars go to cheerleader camp instead of football camp so they can have more women, comedy and personal transformation ensue.

Superficial Content: D
Drugs/Alcohol D, Sex/Nudity D, Violence C, Language F
Okay, I know this is out of order, but there’s a really important reason for it. This movie is absolutely not for any teenagers at all, period. It should definitely be rated R, and I wouldn’t encourage any one to let their teens watch it. In fact, the reason I rented it was precisely because I suspected that this might be an over-the-top content movie that might seem harmless to an uninformed parent because of the cheerleader theme and the PG-13 rating. Profanity is unbelievable in this movie, and I cannot believe it didn’t receive an R just for profanity. Kidz-in-mind only gave it a 5, but yet they counted over 130 profanities. Now, you know this sort of measurement doesn’t usually impress me, but in this case it really was overwhelmingly pervasive. Also, sex is a constant theme, both because the guys are trying to sleep with everything that moves and succeeding at it and also because sexy young women are shown pretty much continuously throughout the movie. Additionally, there are sporadic intense lesbian and gay scenes, lesbianism encouraged, gayness mocked. Two boys barely covering themselves cheerleading naked. Two girls being repeatedly sexual. There are several scenes of teenage partying and alcohol consumption. Seriously. The only thing missing here was violence. So this definitely should not be a PG-13 movie. R and a solid R at that. And that’s the theatrical version. I have no idea what the unrated version is like, which thankfully our Blockbuster didn’t stock. Now, the reason I put this element first was because of the following.

Entertainment Value: A
This was hilariously funny. The dialogue is amazingly clever, so clever that I actually had hoped the writer had done other things, but he hasn’t. We were laughing the whole way through this movie, and not just a little but guffawing. I replayed several comments because they were so funny, and the gags are constant. This is a classic case of comic genius covered in filth. Sadly, the movie didn’t need any of the profanity to make it work, and although the plot alone would have required this to be PG-13, I’m certain they could have kept the other stuff down to a level where I would have felt PG-13 was appropriate. So here’s my warning (again). Don’t let your kids watch this, but if you don’t care about the superficial content stuff, this is a very funny for-adults-only comedy.

Significant Content: C
If you’re funny, all else is forgiven. (Ironic, right?) Loyalty to your best friend is essential. Long exposure to women in their environment at least has a chance of turning from a sexual predator into a real human being. In fact, despite all the content, I have to acknowledge that for at least one of the characters here, this movie shows him growing into a man and thereby growing unsatisfied with the boyish antics of his friends.

Artistic/Thought Value: C
The credit here goes toward really understanding the standard cheerleader movie and then creating a send-up of it that doesn’t go in the direction of the movie genre mockumentaries so popular in recent years. Although I think there’s a solid message to coax out of this movie about manhood and maturity, this lesson is overshadowed by the vulgarity and juvenile antics.

Discussion Questions:
~What’s the substantial difference between the guys and Dr. “Rick? Is it merely that he’s crass and stupid whereas they are clever? If so, is that enough to justify liking them and despising him?
~What role does the Casanova archetype play in our society? Consider examples like James Bond, Sam Malone from Cheers, Joey from Friends, and Charley in Two and a Half Men. Is it healthy for our culture to have this ideal set forth for men? Is it more or less damaging than the archetype of the “Mook,” the fool who is incompetent, and irresponsible. How do you feel about Nick and Shawn as a viewer seeking entertainment? How would you feel about them if you were a parent of a teenage girl?
~Why do girls fall for guys like Nick and Shawn? Do they not care that they won’t stay faithful or do they hope that they might be the one who finally encourages them to become faithful (like Carly)?
~What does Nick’s diary reveal about him and about men in general? Consider its erffects on Diora.
~Considering Nick, Diora, and Coach Keith, what does this movie make you want to see happen? What is the right thing to have happen? What does this show about the persuasive power of fiction on our moral sensibilities?
~What does Nick’s pursuit of Diora say about him? Is he intrigued because she’s married, because she’s older, or because she seems like an impossible conquest? How does Shawn’s developing interest in Carly follow the same pattern? Why are men drawn to women who reject them? What happens if this rejection returns after they are married? How is admiration important to men?
~If Shawn had been honest from the start, would he ever have had a chance with Carly? So is it unfair of her to be angry at him after discovering his plot? What about the fact that he had already forsaken the original plan to stay?
~What stereotypes are presented in this movie? Which ones are shown not to always be true?
In the extra features, they discuss how both lead actors were sick for two weeks because they each kissed two girls in the movie who kissed each other. What lessons might this basic lesson in biology have for the sort of promiscuity this movie is encouraging, at least in the beginning?
Overall Grade: B+/D
I’m glad I watched this for all the right reasons. I was right this would probably be a movie parents wouldn’t realize was so vulgar. And in the process of finding that out and being able to warn you about it, I also got to watch a highly entertaining adult comedy.

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