Hooking Up
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Hooking Up

I have to admit that several decades ago when I was but a lad I would gather with my friends to read the Catholic newspaper; The Tablet’. It wasn’t that we were devote or pious we focused on the weekly movie ratings if a film was marked with the letter ‘C’ it meant the church condemned it for sex and/or violence. It also selected the movie we would try to see the next Saturday. The point is there has always been a marked for sexually oriented flick. Since this was in the early sixties this was our only way to see such material s since cable and the internet were still far in the future. The major setback with the current trend of sexually oriented films is the vast majority panders completely to the target demographic of teenage boys. This means the flicks in question are not overly concerned with such details as a cohesive plot, character development or any semblance of quality. In fact many of these teen sex romp flicks are barely a notch above hard core movies in the criteria just cited. There are movie shown on late night Cinemax with better story development than most of the teen faire I’ve happened upon of late. One of the latest movies in this category is aptly named ‘Hooking Up’ that euphemism for having sex is the perfect title as it is the sole motivation in what is presented as a story. There is nothing in the way of attempt to form emotional connection or providing realistic characters that go through some fashion of development arc. Everything in the flick serves only one purpose; get people naked and place them in sexual situations. Even in this the film is rather tame show material that is far less explicit that much of what is on overnight cable.

The story and script was provided by Jeff Siegel who is new to writing. He did have positions in the past that allowed him to peak behind the scenes of some funny television series but perhaps should have wandered over to the writer’s offices. He worked as a production assistant for ‘Saturday Night Live and ‘"Late Night with Conan O'Brien’ as well as an intern on ‘The Daily Show’ so he has seen comedy in the making but here he slips into the most puerile gags imaginable. The screenplay is basically a loosely associated series of vignettes revolving around the overly zealous sex drives and lustful desires of a group of high school students. If you are a parent, particularly of a teenage girl watching the first few minutes will make you inclined to send her off to a convent school in North Dakota. It’s not that the girls are loose and the guys driven only by hormones, actually it is just that. The overall tone of the movie is firmly set within the first few minutes. Three guys on walking around the high school’s track, one is smoking. There discussion centers on tasting their own ejaculate and the possibilities of sex with a girl possessing two vaginas. We then cut to a teen party where a 16year old girl, Michelle (Leah Viens-Gordon) is kneeing in front of a guy making loud slurping noises. A page from the character’s face book is shown, she like boys and giving head. That is made abundantly clear when it is only a few minutes before she is back in the bedroom with another random guy. This isn’t even close to the most reprehensible behavior. Ryan (Corey Feldman) is 25 and likes underage girls two or three at a time. That is not macho behavior; it is a felony. Whatever happened to 16 will get you 25? Feldman is one of a few somewhat known stars here. Another is the school’s principal, Dr. Jordan Brian O'Halloran, the main character in Kevin Smith’s ‘Clerks’. Here he is a man playing scrabble with his health nut wife and daughter who sneaks a candy bar when she’s out of the room. His 15 year old daughter wants some action with a teacher haplessly played by Bronson Pinchot. Okay, the felonies are beginning to pile up. This is overwhelmed though by the concept that virginity is not compromised by oral or anal sex.

This is a typical flick where the kids are into sex, drug and rock & roll while the adults are either sexual predators or completely clueless. Of course the kids can rival the despicable as the so called grownups. One really sleazy boy gropes a girl who is passed out at the party. I have seen my share of flicks like this but this one is the nadir of cinema. The director, Vincent Scordia, has some potential with his attempt to keep this on track but it is a case of very little to work with. This is an early effort and mistakes are to be expected but hopefully he can work his way up to something better.

Posted 01/23/2010

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