Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 33 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for Strong Crude and Sexual Content throughout, Language and some Drug Use
Directed by: Dan Beers
Written by: Dan Beers & Mathew Harawitz
Starring: John Karna, Katie Findlay, Alan Tudyk, Craig Roberts & Adam Riegler
In 2014, we’ve gotten two different takes on the GROUNDHOG DAY formula. Tom Cruise was in a sci-fi action spin on that flick with EDGE OF TOMORROW and Dan Beers directed/co-wrote PREMATURE, a teenage sex comedy version of GROUNDHOG DAY. The title already kind of tells the viewer exactly what kind of movie this is. R-rated sex comedies can be occasionally riotous material, but that is not the case here. PREMATURE strictly winds up as a middle-of-the-road film thanks to an uneven script, stale jokes, and iffy characters. That’s not to say the entire film doesn’t have merits, but there’s not nearly enough of them to boost this material up to a solid or even a half-hearted recommendation.
Rob is a young man having a very rough day. His overbearing parents are putting stress on him, a college interview didn’t go well, he’s been side-swiped by a car, and an attempt to have sex with the popular girl in class goes horribly wrong. The last event is actually what sends him into a time-warped misadventure driven by orgasms as a plot device. Every time Rob blows his load (whether of his own free will or at someone else’s hands), he awakes to start the same day over again. Some days are worse than others and some days are better, but Rob is forced to live it all over and over. In order to right this cosmic wrong, this young man tries to find out how to fix the day and make it to tomorrow.
PREMATURE doesn’t exactly have the most original or greatest premise (save for the little detail that orgasms make him go back in time, which plays for a few good laughs throughout). The script is clearly trying to be more funny and clever than the material allows it to be. A colorful parade of goofy characters that resemble live-action versions of a wacky cartoon characters don’t necessarily help matters either. There are a couple of good morals in the mix though, as Rob learns who his real friends are and that life doesn’t revolve around sex. It’s admirable to a point, but the film also takes too long in getting to those conclusions. Running at just over 90 minutes, this story drags out to where we’re sick of living the same day over and over with Rob. The other two-dimensional performances don’t help either, with one exception. Alan Tudyk is the best actor here and actually got laughs out of me as an overly emotional college advisor. Otherwise, Rob is a bland protagonist and so are the rest of the people around him.
There are a few good qualities in PREMATURE and enough bad ones to even the whole film out to an overly familiar C-flick that just exists. It’s nothing to recommend, but it’s not bad enough to steer everyone away from either. I imagine that Junior High/early High School level teens who enjoy this sort of film will love it, but it’s feels too dusty for those hoping for a fresh or funny comedy. Like its lead character in the company of women, PREMATURE will leave viewers unsatisfied.