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Sex and the Teenage Mind (October 25/05)

Though it's being marketed as a an American Pie-esque raunchy sex comedy (the film even opens with a familiar sequence in which the central character is caught in a compromising position by his mother), Sex and the Teenage Mind - with its lack of nudity and even cursing - actually comes off as surprisingly tame. But that's the least of the Sex and the Teenage Mind's problems, as writer/director Don Gold emphasizes pointless subplots and jokes that come off as sad rather than funny.

Jay Michael Ferguson stars as Virgil Heitmeyer, a geeky high school student who's been lusting after popular girl Kellie Guthrie (Allison Lange) as far back as he can remember. After standing up for Kellie in front of a classroom full of people, Virgil finds himself on the receiving end of some much-desired attention from the object of his affection. Meanwhile, Virgil's best friend Dwayne (Michael Bower) is dealing with a crush of his own - the snooty and seemingly unattainable Debbie (Danica McKellar).

It's clear almost immediately that Gold is either unwilling or unable to write dialogue that sounds even remotely authentic, though judging by his age (he was an assistant director on My Three Sons!), the likely answer is that the filmmaker is just out of touch with the way today's teens talk. And though the movie actually starts out okay - particularly when compared to other examples of the genre, including National Lampoon's Gold Diggers - it's not long before Sex and the Teenage Mind becomes just as disposable as its forebearers.

Gold attempts to compensate for the film's lack of plot by throwing in various wacky subplots, something that's exemplified by a particularly useless sequence that finds Virgil and Dwayne engaged in a farting contest. The performances are at the same level of the film itself (ie they're excessively mediocre), though Family Feud host Richard Karn does a nice job as Virgil's father (poor Dee Wallace-Stone, playing Virgil's mom, looks thoroughly embarrassed).

Finally, towards the end, there's a conversation between Virgil and Kellie that feels sweet and honest - a vibe that's sorely lacking from the rest of Sex and the Teenage Mind. And though there's a pretty nifty Back to the Future reference thrown into the mix, the complete lack of salacious content ensures that the film's core audience of teenaged boys will dismiss this as fast as everyone else.

out of

About the DVD: MGM Home Video presents Sex and the Teenage Mind with a letterboxed transfer, along with three bonus trailers (Murder at the Presidio, Single White Female, and Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough) and three deleted scenes (oddly enough, there's nudity in two of these sequences).
© David Nusair