'Premature' sustains momentum using teen comedy genre, with a 'Groundhog Day' twist
By Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief
“Premature,” a movie being released under the IFC Midnight banner on July 2 in select theaters and video on demand, takes the main plot device of “Groundhog Day” and marries it to the typical teen comedy, but does so with enough wit and features performances with enough heart that the production is a lot of fun to watch.
It starts with a twist on the reliving-the-same-day concept in which lead John Karna, as a high school kid, triggers a repeat of the day with every orgasm, waking up in his bedroom as his mom walks in, appalled. A few key points then keep popping up, like one set of bullies tormenting him, his father imploring him to do well in an interview with a recruiter from Georgetown University (well played by character actor Alan Tudyk), and a planned date with platonic friend Katie Findlay to watch the national spelling bee on TV.
Along the way, we also meet Craig Roberts as Karna’s sidekick and best friend, who has many of the best lines of the movie, like referring to the worst time he was bullied with a kick to the crotch as his “Ball-ocaust.” Roberts delivers a steady stream of these, nearly stealing the show, but the other cast members do get a couple gems from writer-director Dan Beers along the way.
Nonetheless, “Premature” isn’t only a joke machine, and the cast makes characters who could have been caricatures believable, even in the less showy parts (think of what Tim Matheson and Peter Riegert did in “Animal House”).
With each replay of the day, Karna gets just a little bit smarter, of course, and the ensuing scenes reflect that. “Premature” may not be wildly unpredictable, but its writers, director and cast definitely make the movie an enjoyable one.
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