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'Premature' review: Masturbating through time and space

Premature

Rating:
Star2
Star
Star
Star
Star

"Premature" opens at the Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park movie theater here in Houston starting today.

Katie Findlay as Gabrielle.
Katie Findlay as Gabrielle.
Photo courtesy of IFC Midnight, used with permission.
The official theatrical poster for "Premature."
Photo courtesy of IFC Midnight, used with permission.

Rob Crabbe (John Karna) is a high school student on the brink of taking that next step forward of the rest of his life. He's carefully kept his academics aligned in a way that will make him a shoe-in for Georgetown, his college of choice, but is seen as a nerd because of it. On the day of Rob's Georgetown interview, Rob can't get past the idea of still being a virgin. His vulgar and sex hungry friend Stanley (Craig Roberts) just wants Rob to take Angela Yearwood's (Carlson Young), aka After School Special, offer to "tutor" her later while Rob's best friend Gabrielle (Katie Findlay) just wants what's best for him.

Rob soon realizes that his day keeps repeating itself every time he has an orgasm. He begins to believe something is seriously wrong with him after exploring every option he can think of throughout the repeating day. But there's a meaning behind his curse; a purpose he has to understand before he can move on.

You're first introduced to Rob while he's in the middle of a wet dream. A woman out of his league is riding him on a heart shaped bed with red leather sheets. It seems like the perfect fantasy until Rob points out his chemistry set and that the woman has three breasts. Rob wakes up in a puddle of his own goo right as his mom walks in. And thus begins what is one of the worst and most embarrassing days of Rob's life.

"Premature" is humorous at times, but its borrowed concept reminds you of at least half a dozen films that came before it. The comedy seems like a raunchy mimicry of "Groundhog Day" and R-rated comedies over the past 15 years including "Neighbors," "Hot Tub Time Machine," "Superbad," "Van Wilder," "She's Out of Your League," and "American Pie" all come to mind while watching "Premature." Homage doesn't always hurt a film, but when you lift material from well-known sources more often than offering original content of your own then it becomes an issue.

Dan Beers comedy introduces a couple phrases that are slightly amusing including Stanley's "ballocaust" from the ninth grade and Rob's rant about Stanley's girlfriend Lisa (Zoe Myers having the power of "jizzekinesis." Alan Tudyk's role as the Georgetown interviewer is a small one and yet his drunken, grief-stricken stupor is felt throughout the entire film. Tudyk's rambling and emotional breakdown during the interview is humorous in a pathetic kind of way.

The comedy in "Premature" is intertwined with this unsettling sensation of being a pervert that stalks unsuspecting women. Rob's orgasms become his reset button as he tends to masturbate in the worst of places. You will never look at little mayonnaise packets the same way again after the film. Stanley shouting ethnic female voices to Stanley as he touches himself in the girl's locker room is kind of disturbing. You never shake that feeling that your parents just caught you in the act. "Premature" is all of the embarrassing humiliation people who didn't lose their virginity fast enough felt and experienced throughout their entire lives packed into an hour and a half.

"Premature" is a very simple comedy that attempts to make you laugh through crude jabs of the teasing onslaught brought on by being a virgin for too long. Its familiarity is what hurts it the most, but it's also very predictable and extremely uncomfortable at times. Bloopers are a fun little bonus to throw in at the end of a film, but there's a lot to be said if those two minutes of outtakes are more enjoyable than the film itself.