You know the old saying “For every up, there is a down”? Yes, it is a lyric from “That’s What Makes The World Go Round”, but it is also a rephrasing of Newton’s Third Law. Basically, it is all about balance and in the case of movies, it can be used to say that for every good movie a company or studio makes, there will also be a bad one. In regards to National Lampoon’s movies, for every great comedy such as Animal House, you will get a movie like today’s movie, which has it’s moments but is nowhere close to the caliber of some other movies. So let’s see just how good or bad today’s movie, National Lampoon’s Barely Legal, really is.
The plot: Three high school friends (Deacon, Fred, and Matt) are taken to a warehouse and suspended from meat hooks, where two men threaten to cut off their balls. Some time earlier, the three friends are lamenting about their desire to have sex but inability to obtain it. Deacon is also upset because he heard that his ex-girlfriend Rachel had sex but had always told him she wasn’t ready. On his birthday, Deacon is depressed about not getting a new car so they go out to a party hosted by Tom “Coop” Cooperman. While there, Deacon talks with Naomi, who had recently broken up with Jake, Deacon’s neighbor that constantly tries to demean him. The next day, Fred is fired from the video store he works at so they are now unable to make money, as they used to make copies of the porn videos from the store and sell them to freshmen at the school. Deacon comes up with the idea of making a porn movie themselves in order to make money and after convincing the others, Matt comes up with the name After School Special for their company. Working at his dad’s clinic, Fred steals the credit card information from one of his dad’s patients so they can set up a website, and then Deacon makes them some fake ids to use. Managing to bribe their way into a strip club, they meet Ashley, an 18 year old stripper that is interested in their movie. Deacon, Fred, and Matt end up hanging out with Ashley and some other strippers from the club and Jake sees the strippers dropping the guys off later that night. The next day, Jake comes over and after seeing the script that Fred and Matt were working on, he blackmails them into letting him be in the movie. They start filming in Deacon’s basement after school and after a solo scene with Ashley, Jake comes in but has a problem performing on camera. When Ashley tries to help him, he prematurely ejaculates and then threatens Deacon and the others if they say anything about it before grabbing the footage and leaving. Needing a new male lead, the guys as Coop if he would do it and he agrees, thinking that they will become legends at school. As Fred and Matt write up more script ideas, their website ends up receiving more traffic and pre-orders for the video. At school, Deacon helps out Naomi, who invites him to a party and Deacon tells Fred and Matt but says that they should meet him there. At the party, Deacon is talking with Naomi when Fred and Matt show up and when she comments about their project, Jake interrupts them and tries to belittle Deacon in front of Naomi but she walks off. Deacon follows after her to talk to her and they end up making out and having sex. The next day, the start filming the new scene when a fire breaks out and after putting out the fire, they head up to the kitchen just as Deacon’s family comes in. Trying to come up with a way to explain the half naked Ashley, Ashley says she is Deacon’s girlfriend and winds up being invited to dinner. As Deacon and his family are having dinner with Ashley, Naomi shows up and introduces herself as Deacon’s girlfriend but when she is told that Ashley claims to be Deacon’s girlfriend, she storms off. Deacon goes to chase after him and Ashley tries to stop him, telling him not to fall in love with the fantasy he has about Naomi. Deacon ends up telling Naomi what they are doing and she says she wants to be at the next shoot, saying she will be the consultant on female perspective. The next day, Fred and Matt have an issue with Naomi being there but the go ahead and do a dress rehearsal for the day’s shoot. When Naomi says that Coop should be a foreign exchange student and better dressed, everyone ends up arguing and Ashley ends up walking out, with Coop following after her. Naomi leaves and drags Deacon with her as she takes him shopping for new clothes, saying he doesn’t need Fred and Matt. When Deacon returns to the basement, Fred and Matt say they want to do the movie without him and he gets angry at them as they leave. The next day, Deacon is approached by Rachel and when he mentions the guy she had sex with, she says it was a lie. Deacon ends up apologizing to Fred and Matt and they consider stopping where they are but Ashley approaches them and says they need to finish the film so she can have a reel to show. They work on the film, getting the bouncer and another stripper to help out as extras and eventually manage to finish the film. With the film completed, they decide to throw a big party and Ashley shows up and says that she sent the reel to Vivid and they want to fly her and Coop to L.A. to discuss a contract. Deacon ends up breaking up with Naomi and asks that she not tell anyone about the movies but just then, Jake gets on a microphone and starts telling everyone about it. Deacon tells Jake no one is listening to him because they think he is drunk but Jake says that he sent the tape of Ashley masturbating to Deacon’s parents. Naomi ends up knocking Jake out and then Deacon, Fred, and Matt go to get the envelope with the tape before his parents see it but are stopped by Vic Ramalot and his assistant, who force them into their car at gunpoint. Bringing us to the beginning of the movie, Matt tells Vic that they have over 60,000 pre-orders for the movie and they will give him all the money for the product. Vic lets them down and then agrees to their terms of free porn for life and to keep the spirit of After School Special as it is. Racing to Deacon’s home, they don’t see the mail and think Deacon’s parents have it but they are only upset that Deacon got a C in Biology. Deacon’s younger brother actually has the tape, and Deacon agrees to his demands to get it back. The next day at school, Deacon and Rachel get back together and Fred and Matt end up getting dates with two girls, who heard rumors about them. When Jake tries to demean Deacon again, Matt plays some edited footage of Jake’s premature ejaculation on every school monitor, making Jake the laughing stock of the school. As they are leaving for the day, Deacon, Fred, and Matt are given convertibles as gifts from Vic and they all drive off with their respective girl. Some time later, Deacon’s parents end up watching the porno when they notice a family photo in one of the scenes, prompting Deacon’s dad to ask if that was their basement.
This is your basic high-school sex comedy and surprisingly had some good aspects to it but this is not what you would consider a good movie. The acting was pretty decent and I loved how they overacted the “bad acting” when they were filming the porn scenes. I also liked Horatio Sanz’s character Vic Ramalot, as it was basically a spoof of Ron Jeremy. The story was somewhat original but at the end of the day, it is just another teenage sex comedy and those are really a dime a dozen. There were some funny moments but not as many as you would expect for this type of movie. Basically, this is something that you can put on when you have 90 minutes to kill.
Rating: 2 out of 5