In his feature film debut, "Pool Party" writer/director sticks with a predictable formula...flunky law loses babe girlfriend while working for narcissistic successful loser with babe wife.
The end result of Snell's decision to stick with a formulaic, semi-sex comedy is a film that more often than not feels like an Ashton Kutcher movie not too far removed from one of Kutcher's most noted debacles, "My Boss's Daughter."
You know you're in trouble when a film advertises itself as "From the producers who SAW "American Pie." I'm assuming the producers SAW "American Pie V", because "Pool Party" lacks any of the charm, humor, originality or even mischievous relevance of that original box-office hit.
In the film, Matt (Justin Bowler, who shares a writing credit here) has failed the bar exam twice and lost his girl (Mikki Padilla, "Ghost Hunters: Point of Contact"). His boss (David Lawrence XVII) is a condescending jerk who, in order for Matt to keep his job, requires that Matt housesit for five days to study for the next bar exam. He's to allow no visitors and ensure NOTHING happens to the house.
Do you get where this is going?
Why yes, as a matter of fact you do.
Snell and Bowler have tried to put together a script that achieves a degree of raunch wrapped around a core of sweetness. Unfortunately, the storylines containing the sweetness are never really developed and, worst of all, the decision is made to throw in "Bingo, the Monkey Clown" who adds chaos to the scene and chases after the boss's teenage daughter.
Despite the script's predictability, "Pool Party" actually has potential and both Bowler and Lawrence have a certain charm that makes this film a tad watchable for those with a high tolerance for teen/young adult sex comedies.
For a low-budget indie, the tech credits fairly well and "Pool Party" manages to keep pace with similar straight-to-video films.
If you're looking for a fairly cheesy, sex comedy with a fair amount of flesh that won't tax your brain, then "Pool Party" may fit the bill. Bowler, in particular, shows potential here and it'll be interesting to see what future projects come his way.
"Pool Party" is available on DVD, Netflix and Amazon!
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic