Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jake's What-The-?: "Jake's How-To" (2008)

I'm not quite sure what the Buckley Brothers were doing with this film. It's a mess, and frankly, all about the wrong characters.

Aaron (Neil Kubath) is partner and prodigy to Jake (Kevin Oestenstad), a conceited beach volleyball player. The two practice on the sun drenched beaches of Wisconsin, and Jake gives Aaron some hilariously bad advice on how to pick up women. Aaron has just split up with his girlfriend, and his best friend Jonny (Matthew Zeidman) is also hoping Aaron will score, and return to normal. Aaron tries his best with assorted women, and does well, until he decides to use some of Jake's advice. A big volleyball tournament approaches, and Aaron finally comes to his senses about Jake, which affects both players' skills.

I'm sorry, but I often had no clue what was going on here. The sound is pretty bad, and the fun electronic score often drowned out the dialogue. The first two-thirds of the film drag, as Aaron is shot down every time he uses Jake's advice, yet stupidly goes back to it again and again. Also, for a sex comedy, sex is only talked about, and the only nudity here is shirtless guys and bikini-clad girls.

Two peripheral characters had me laughing, and building their parts up may have made the rest of the film tolerable. Two friendly rivals to Jake and Aaron are The Christian Fury (the film's composer Kyle Buckley), who carries a cross and slaps anyone who uses God's name in vain, and Rick (Nick Doetsch), The Christian Fury's maniacal partner- rude and crude and often getting the only laughs ("Anal!"). Plus, beach volleyball in Wisconsin? We couldn't milk a little more out of that? Instead, we have to watch Aaron getting hit in the forehead constantly, or ha-ha material like everyone thinking Jonny is gay.

"Jake's How-To" is a lost opportunity I wanted to like more. Well, guys, maybe next time. (*) out of five stars.