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Review: Spring Breakdown

What happens to those nerds in college? Do they embrace their geekiness and grow up to take over the world like Bill Gates? Or do they turn into the cool kids, marrying the quarterback of the football team and having a slew of children who all look like Gap Baby models? Sometimes they just stay nerdy.

Gayle (Amy Poehler), Becky (Parker Posey), and Judi (Rachel Dratch) have been friends since college. The three are a bit socially awkward, but are not ashamed of it in the least. Becky is in politics and works for a senator (Jane Lynch, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, TV’s Glee) who is concerned that her college-age daughter might cause a publicity nightmare on her Spring Break trip with her girlfriends to South Padre Island. The senator sends Becky to spy on her daughter, and Becky decides this is the perfect spring vacation for her friends.

The trio arrives with different goals in mind. Becky wants to do the best job that she can, Gayle wants to try to fit in with the cool girls for once in her life, and Judi wants to find a man who will sleep with her so she can get over being dumped by her gay fiancé (SNL’s Seth Meyers). But all three end up embracing themselves for who they are.

With Poehler’s mediocre performance in last year’s Baby Mama and the low visibility of Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey (Where have you BEEN, Parker Posey? We’ve missed you!) as of late, I wasn’t expecting too much out of the three female leads. Even though Amy Poehler sometimes suffers from Will Ferrell syndrome (Definition – An actor who takes one joke/premise and runs it into the ground so that said joke/premise is no longer funny), I found all three women to be refreshingly enjoyable here. They have great chemistry together.

As fun as those three women were, the supporting cast stole the show. Jane Lynch’s Senator is hilariously overbearing, portraying every possible stereotype about Texas politicians. That drunken woman at South Padre Island whose name might escape you is the lovely and talented Missi Pyle. You might remember her from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Soccer Mom, Dodgeball, and Galaxy Quest among many. Any film is automatically made a little better with Missi Pyle. Also adding to the great supporting cast is Amber Tamblyn (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) as the senator’s daughter and the beautiful Sophie Monk (Sex and Death 101) as Mason Masters, the leader of the popular girls. There were also a few fun cameos by Bruce Vilanch, MTV’s LaLa, and Christopher Knight.

With a promising showing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Spring Breakdown deserved more than the quiet direct-to-DVD release than it received. The actual laugh out loud moments easily best those of some of the comedies released in theaters this year, such as Dance Flick or The Pink Panther 2.

Spring Breakdown can probably be best summarized by saying that it’s similar to Old School, but with women and without Will Ferrell. Among the silliness, celebrity cameos, great cast, and the typical Spring Break debauchery, Spring Breakdown even offers up the lesson to embrace who you are. Even if you’re a nerd.

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