Adam & Eve review by Mike Long

Nepotism has probably existed in Hollywood for as long as movies have been made there. You don't have to look far to find an example of a parent who has gotten their offspring a job in the industry. One would hope that these younger filmmakers or actors would learn from their parents how to pick quality projects. But, this doesn't always happen. Adam & Eve (AKA National Lampoon's Adam & Eve) offers not one, but two examples of Hollywood families participating in a movie which gets hopelessly lost in its own story.

Cameron Douglas (son of Michael Douglas) stars in Adam & Eve as the male half of the title. While driving across campus one day, college student Adam spots Eve (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and abandons his car to speak with her. He then meets Eve again when he delivers a pizza to her sorority house. Mustering his courage, Adam asks Eve out and the two begin dating. Their relationship begins to progress nicely and Adam learns that Eve is a virgin. While Adam, being male, wants sex from her, he respects her wishes. But, as they become more romantically involved Adam becomes frustrated and doesn't understand why Eve is waiting. Adam doesn't get much support from his roommates, a group of truly disgusting guys. Adam must decide is if Eve's love is important enough to control his sexual desires.

Please do not use Adam & Eve to assist in hanging pictures, because this has to be the most wildly uneven movie that I've ever seen. Essentially, there are two movies going on here and they never, ever gel. On the one hand, we have the movie about the relationship between Adam and Eve. This is actually an interesting story, as it explores the importance of sexual activity in a relationship. Eve's choice to remain a virgin are very personal and important to her and this aspect is never played for laughs. Actually, this portion of the film borders on serious drama, as Adam weighs his options and Eve questions how much of Adam's persistence she can handle. The problem with this portion of the film is that while it's interesting, it never seems very realistic. Why would Eve get partially nude with Adam if she didn't intend on having any sort of sexual relations at all? That just seems needlessly cruel and doesn't match the rest of her character. And while Adam and Eve claim to be in love, there is no chemistry between Douglas and Chriqui.

The other part of Adam & Eve is a gross-out frat boy comedy. Adam's roomies, Much (Brian Klugman), Freddie (Chad Lindberg), Ferguson (Jake Hoffman, son of Dustin Hoffman), and Billy (Brandon Williams), are unbelievably slovenly and their house (which is never clearly defined as a frat-house) is a pig-sty. The guys are constantly referencing bodily functions, eating old food, or masturbating. The humor put forth here falls below American Pie or Porky's level and is never clever. The problem here is that Adam himself is pretty gross and he doesn't stand out against the background of the disgusting house. If Adam had been fairly neat and clean-cut while living in these dirty surroundings, there would have been many opportunities for comedy. As it stands, we simply get a lot of scenes where unclean guys stand around in their underwear.

Adam & Eve was written by Justin Kanew, son of director Jeff Kanew. The older Kanew was responsible for one of the greatest comedies of the 80s, Revenge of the Nerds. But, according to, he hasn't worked in several years, and that is evident in the pacing of the film. Apparently, Jeff Kanew was called back into the director's chair after reading the film's script which was written by his son, Justin. The film is supposedly based on Justin's real-life experiences in college. While I'm not disputing that fact, Adam & Eve is yet another in a long line of college films that doesn't seem to reflect reality in any fashion. No one goes to class. Everyone parties constantly. The girls all live in nice and tidy houses, while the boys live in rooms which should be fumigated and condemned. The fact that none of the background action seems real takes away from the promising nature of the relationship portion of the story. In an odd twist, most of the supporting actors are good, but I found Douglas and Chriqui to be dull and flat. I've never been a fan of Michael Douglas, but he does have on-screen charisma, which is son is lacking.

In the end, the dichotomous nature of Adam & Eve kills the film, and that's really too bad. It would have been very interesting to have seen a movie which explores the sex lives of young adults and the complications one faces when they are a virgin. Instead we get a quasi-serious film mixed with a raunchy comedy and the resulting movie should be booted off of campus.

Adam & Eve comes to DVD courtesy of New Line Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. Given the low-budget nature of the film (which is mentioned constantly in the commentary), the image looks pretty good. The picture is sharp and clear, showing only a very thin sheen of grain. The colors look very good, most notably the reds and greens. (Much like the film itself) the picture is somewhat uneven, as some scenes show the expected amount of brightness, while others are quite dark. I did noticed some haloes surrounding the characters at times. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The music featured in the film sounds fine and the stereo effects are good. There isn't much in the way of surround sound, save for musical cues and the occasional crowd noise. There were no overt bass effects that I noticed.

The Adam & Eve contains a few extras. We start with an audio commentary featuring director/editor Jeff Kanew and writer Justin Kanew. To be quite frank, this is an annoying commentary. Jeff constantly attempts to make jokes while Justin wants them both to be quiet at times. It's as if neither has ever heard a commentary and has no idea what to do. When this behavior subsides, they do offering some information about the making of the film, most notably how they were able to work with the film's budget and how the film was cast. The DVD contains 6 "Deleted Scenes" which total about 7 minutes. Two of these scenes offer new information which wasn't included in the final cut of the film. The extras are rounded out by an "Outtake Reel" (8 minutes) and the "Theatrical Trailer", which is letterboxed at 1.66:1.

3 out of 10 Jackasses

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