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Totally Irresponsible

Dumb and progressively dumber buddy pic compensates for a weak script with zesty helming and a mostly memorable cast. "Totally Irresponsible" doesn't have quite enough budget or originality to get out of the basement and up to multiplex level, but thanks to the tube rep of leads Corin Nemec ("Parker Lewis Can't Lose") and David Faustino ("Married ... With Children"), it will win some dignity on the vid circuit.

Dumb and progressively dumber buddy pic compensates for a weak script with zesty helming and a mostly memorable cast. “Totally Irresponsible” doesn’t have quite enough budget or originality to get out of the basement and up to multiplex level, but thanks to the tube rep of leads Corin Nemec (“Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”) and David Faustino (“Married … With Children”), it will win some dignity on the vid circuit.

Nemec and Faustino, respectively (but not at all respectfully), play Waylon and Buzz, two lifelong buds who’ve just been canned from their latest crummy jobs, as bottom-rung hospital orderlies, when they bump into two club gals (Caroline Keenan and Danielle Harris) who challenge them to get their act together. Trouble is, they have to do it in a single evening. The femmes throw an odd challenge, though, with the boys having to cross town for specific munchies and get back without screwing up. Sounds simple, not to mention simple-minded, but they end up breaking into a convenience store and getting trapped inside. It’s not all bad, though: There’s a giant pot-growing operation in the basement.

This development leads to encounters with such strange characters as a wigged-out copy-shop clerk, a former high school biology teacher-turned-“Scarface”-type drug runner and the Gooch — a heavily made-up Robert Stack as some kind of rogue CIA op gone berserk. Bit has no raison d’etre , other than outrageousness. Same goes for a small dose of drug-induced animation.

Pic doesn’t have the octane to keep up Farrelly brothers-ish madness, and a couple of turns are so wrong they’re almost off the chart. One involves Buzz, during a basement-induced high, confessing that he thinks about his buff roomie while masturbating. A sentimental exchange follows, but how can a pot-toking, fart-joking, otherwise homophobic movie survive that particular bend in the road? Pic’s script chooses to ignore this development in favor of conventional wrap-up. Still, helmer Karl Hirsch, who came to project late, tends to skim over the lamest parts quickly while lingering over more character-oriented aspects.

Tech credits are OK, music is expectedly peppy and acting is always at least serviceable. Faustino here hints at comic talents that have yet to be fully exploited, and Nemec exerts considerable appeal as the slightly smarter lamebrain. If anything, both leads are a little too likable to justify the loser status the movie so aggressively pins on them.

Totally Irresponsible

Production: A Killer Bud Films/Prosperity Pictures production. Produced by Ellen Erwin, Richard Mann. Executive producers, David Forrest, Beau Rogers. Co-producer, Betsy Chasse. Directed by Karl Hirsch. Screenplay, Hank Nelken, Greg DePaul.

Crew: Camera (color) , David Lewis; editor, Carol Oblath; music, Russ Landau; music supervisor, Christopher J. Corabi; production designer, Jack Cloud; costume designer, Kelly Zitrick; sound, Dean Hovey; animation, D. Evan Long; assistant director, Craig Connolly; casting, Heather Johnstone. Reviewed at Victoria Film & Video Festival , Feb. 5, 2000. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Corin Nemec, David Faustino, Caroline Keenan, Danielle Harris, Robert Stack, Maurice Chasse, Bunny Summers, Patrick Cupo, Hyrum Patterson, Kelly Jean Peters, Jacob Sidney.

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