With early comparisons to "American Pie" and "Road Trip," I wasn't expecting much when I saw SURF SCHOOL in its brief theatrical run locally. Actually, I *like* mindless, escapist fluff comedies, and was prepared for one of those here. What I found was one of the most gawd-awful 90 minutes I ever spent in a theater (which, incidentally, was EMPTY except for the two of us!)
The plot was simplistic but had potential: typical "fish out of water" scenario, with East Coast transfer student Jordan (Corey Sevier) feeling out of place in a Laguna Beach high school run by a group of championship surfers, led by Tyler (Ryan Carnes). He bands together with other misfits at the school, including a geeky punk, silent goth girl and a perpetual virgin nerd, and enrolls in a surf school prior to the high school surfing championship in Costa Rica. Got the ending figured out yet? No surprises, believe me.
Most of the comic relief is provided by the alcoholic former "surf dude" who runs the school (overplayed beyond endurance by Harland Williams), and a couple of oversexed 60's era hippies who run the place where they are staying. Whatever funny moments there are (including a running gag by Williams inviting people for "mahi-mahi" and a chimp "flirting" with the virgin nerd) are overdone until they lose their appeal. And the film is filled with patronizing stereotypes, from three gorgeous Sweedish tourists to the illogical choice of a flaming campy gay MC at the surf championship. The dialog meanders in illogical circles, leaving the audience scratching their heads in confusion and wondering if this was mostly ad-libbed. The outtakes over the closing credits are better than some of the scenes left in the film.
Only played - briefly - in a handful of theatres nationwide. The writer/director should consider some other line of work.