Women On Film – “Fired Up” – Susan Granger reviews

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As dumb teen sex comedies go, this one is a dud.

Top scorers on Gerald R. Ford High School’s football team – both on and off the field – Shawn (Nicholas D’Agosto) and Nick (Eric Christian Olsen) decide to bypass Tigers’ training camp in El Paso with foul-mouthed Coach Byrnes (Philip Baker Hall) in favor of cheerleading camp at Southeastern Illinois University. Why? ‘Cause that’s where the girls are.

Shawn falls for suspicious Carly (Sarah Roemer), the squad captain, who’s involved with a jerky, pre-med college student who already refers to himself as ‘Dr. Rick’ (David Walton) and drives a BMW convertible, while Nick goes for a hottie 30 year-old, Diora (Molly Sims), whom he describes as “ancient and desperate” and who also happens to be the wife of the camp’s not-so-closeted commander, Coach Keith (Michael John Higgins), “the skipper of this spirit ship.”

The most amusing scene is when the nubile cheerleaders watch the far-better cheerleading film, “Bring It On!” (2000), and recite in unison every line of Kirsten Dunst’s dialogue as they prepare for their perennial competition against the Panthers, led by gnarly Gwyneth (Annalynne McCord).

Two aspects of this sexual conquest project astounded me. First, how much prolific profanity, crude partying and male buttocks nudity now qualifies as PG-13. I mean, this is a really raunchy movie. And, second, how the casting director didn’t seem to care that these supposed ‘teenagers’ are far older – and look it. Nicholas D’Agosto (“Heroes”) is 28 and Eric Christian Olsen (“Eagle Eye,” “License to Wed”) is 31, as is David Walton (“Stateside”), while Sarah Roemer (“Disturbia”) is the youngest at 24.

While the insipid script with its stereotypical characters and double-entendres is enigmatically credited to someone’s pseudonym, “Freedom Jones,” longtime TV writer-producer Will Gluck is a first-time feature director – and his inexperience shows. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Fired Up!” is a smarmy 3. It’s an adolescent boy’s callow pom-pom fantasy.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.