Even as a summer throwaway, this college comedy about nerds, those born-to-be-victimized souls, is pitifully thin. It's a wonder an image shows up on the screen at all. When the ending turns messagey—we all have something of nerdhood within us—the movie becomes worse than nothing. It's like trying to enjoy eating a Twinkie while someone keeps insisting that its main asset is its nutritional value. The movie is competently enough acted by, among others, Robert (Coming Home) Carradine, Anthony (Heart Like a Wheel) Edwards, Curtis (Risky Business) Armstrong and Julie (Up the Creek) Montgomery. But the screenwriters, first-timers Steve Zacharias and Jeff Buhai, take themselves too seriously; Buhai has even said, "We tried to write almost an anti-Nazi movie." They just trot out collegiate clichés—ugly computer whizzes, egotistical football players, gorgeous and mindless cheerleaders—as if merely putting them onscreen is funny. Director Jeff Kanew apparently had no better ideas. The jocks just bluster and the nerds grovel, until the inevitable turnaround. The only fun comes when the nerd types modify their hopelessly out-of-style outfits into a punk look for a rock skit in the college carnival. Set your alarm for about 72 minutes into the picture if you want to catch that scene. (R)

  • Contributors:
  • Ralph Novak,
  • Scot Haller.