Mardi Gras: Spring Break (2011) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Mardi Gras: Spring Break follows the classic comedy formula for three college guys going on a trip to party. Two are hopeless with the ladies, while the third is currently in a relationship, but is able to go with his friends because of some circumstance with his girlfriend (in this case she tells him her grandfather died and she needs to be with her family). One is chubby, gross and overly loud yet somehow his spurning of the other two to party like there’s no tomorrow comes off as somewhat endearing in the end. Naturally the guy with the girlfriend learns that she’s not what he thought and winds up hooking up with his true soulmate (aaawww). Everybody learns a lesson or two and we’re all the wiser for taking this trip with these now proven great friends. I could have been describing any number of films, and that’s what earns Mardi Gras a solid two and a half stars but keeps it from going up that extra notch to three.

Very straightforward and with little surprises (to be honest even the feces gags have been done to death) this movie is an easy watch and at just under an hour and a half won’t eat up a lot of your precious day. Mike played by Nicholas D’Agosto, Bump played by Josh Gad and Scottie played by Bret Harrison are the three college guys and make a great on screen team that are believable as best friends. One of the most important things for a movie like this is getting a group that seems comfortable with one another. Arielle Kebbel is lovely as always and you instantly fall for her character Lucy, just as Mike does. Carmen Electra makes yet another appearance in a sex-based comedy playing herself. No big surprises to how that turns out, but there is a slightly funny scene that takes place in her hotel bathroom.

There are some laughs here, but mostly just chuckles and smiles. Josh Heald’s script isn’t original enough in material, which isn’t strange as his other script, Hot Tub Time Machine, had one simple twist (the time traveling hot tub) with the rest of that story being cookie cutter as well. Director Phil Dornfeld does an ample job at capturing the moments, but it seems like there’s little setup to his shots which can make some laughable scenes a bit less funny. Great comedic directors and writers are well known for a reason, it’s hard to do.

I’d say check this out if you’re looking for a raucous college/teen comedy with a little nudity (although not a lot). Mardi Gras: Spring Break is a good time, although completely forgettable.

Director: Phil Dornfeld
Stars: Nicholas D’Agosto, Josh Gad, Bret Harrison, Arielle Kebbel

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