Review: ‘Hard Breakers’

Remember those teen sex comedies like Losin’ It that started the careers of people like Tom Cruise? This isn’t one of them.

Living in a beach house paid for by her well-off daddy (Tom Arnold), Alexis (Cameron Richardson) shares her good fortune with her roommate and best friend Lindsay (Sophie Monk). When not doing yoga and walking around in bikinis, the pair live their lives from one relationship to another and are fed up with the difficulty of finding decent guys to be with. With a stalker ex-boyfriend who’s a cop watching their every move and neighbors that come over to use up all of their “medicinal” THC, the ladies hit on a new idea for sidestepping the dating game that’s so easy, cavemen used to do it.

First-time writer Elaine Fogg is credited with co-writing the teleplay with first-time director Leah Sturgis, advertised to be a comedy about two young woman fed up with the dating scene (and self-absorbed men) who decide to go all cave-woman on guys (read: felony assault and kidnapping followed by a one-night stand to make up for it). While the premise seems rife with comedic opportunities, nothing seems to connect any of the few funny bits to the rest of the film in any kind of narrative. There’s a few hits, mostly misses, and two lead actresses constantly being upstage by their celebrity cameo co-stars. Is it wrong to keep wanting the film to get better as you watch, or is it because it’s so bad viewers feel sorry for everyone involved?

One fix might have been to have the two lead actresses switch parts. Bombshell Sophie Monk seems game for the part of Lindsay, but it probably would have worked better to see her in the role of Alexis. Cameron Richardson seemed restrained by her part of the semi-timid Alexis and likely would have shined more as “going off the deep end” Lindsay. As far as the script itself, it isn’t clear what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish. So many scenes appear to exist because solely because it would appeal to men, but the content skews toward a female’s perspective and worse looks more insulting to women than entertaining. Who exactly is the target audience for this?

Bit parts for Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere, Bobby Lee, and Chris Kattan only throw up red flag questions such as “What are they even doing in this film?” Their parts are mostly amusing (didn’t Chris Kattan used to be a lot funnier, like in Undercover Brother?) but unfortunately serve as a reminder how cringe-worthy so much of the film is. This is only a guess, but the final cut looks like it was rushed together from a war-driving weekend shoot to get all the footage the filmmakers could with only time for one take per scene (hoping for the best in order to create a finished product). The most positive thing that can really be said for the overall production is that the ladies were very pretty and it’s great that they’re finding work; here’s to living the dream.

(a half skull recommendation out of four)

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