Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2006 // 90 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 10th, 2008
Fast cars. Fast money.
You know what this DVD has? A "Sexy Car Babes Menu!"
Ford Davis (Ben Savage, Boy Meets World) is a slacker. He's broke, still living with his parents and unemployed. After a car accident leaves him in the hole $1,500, he's pressed into working for his father's car dealership. The prospect is not alluring and, as the dealership is in dire straits, the outlook for success is grim.
Surrounded by dysfunctional coworkers, an oblivious owner and a shady sales manager, Ford stumbles through the mundane retail existence. But he might not have to for long as the bank is about to shut down the business, leaving an opening for a rival camper salesman to swoop in and steal the property. It's up to Ford to motivate this ragtag band of misfits to sell 300 cars in 30 days. Can they do it? Yes! I mean, watch the movie and find out!
First things first. Whatever the disc case or the "Sexy Car Babes Menu" label or the bold-faced UNRATED adjective used to describe the bonus features might suggest, Car Babes is not sexy. In fact, this is more a family-friendly comedy that anything remotely resembling a raunch-fest. I think the producers are desperately trying to snooker one or two horny dudes into picking this disc up based on the promise of sexiness. That promise will go unfulfilled. The Sexy Car Babes Menu? A woman in a turtleneck and skirt swaying to the menu music. The "Gallery of Sexy Car Babes" listed in those unrated extras? A few slide shows of girls in swimsuits who are totally unrelated to the actual feature film.
But enough about the disc's marketing shenanigans. The movie itself is mediocre, charming and lightweight, not really funny and predictable. It's the "not really funny" part that will likely deter most of you. I'm being diplomatic actually when I say this because the movie really isn't funny at all. It tried to be, with the quirky car salesmen and the montages of Ben Savage lounging around the car lot bored and squirting balloons with hose water, but the humor was more along the caliber of something you'd find in a made-for-TV ABC Family movie. Not a compliment by the way.
The actors are likable though, starting with Savage who has appeal and that good-natured schmo angle down pat. Chappelle's Show regular Donnell Rawlings, Blake Clark and Jon Gries fill supporting roles with success. Carolina Garcia is attractive, but as the main character's love interest she has surprisingly little to do -- until of course the script demands her to take a pivotal action at the very end that just might save the day and that everyone watching the film will see coming 50 miles away.
So if you're itching for a predictable, laugh-free, well-intentioned comedy chock full o' stick-to-it-iveness, scrappy underdogs, evil Winnebago salesmen and the triumphant return of Ben Savage, Car Babes is right up your lot.
The tech specs -- widescreen (1.85:1 anamorphic) and 5.1 surround -- are adequate, but the extras, a featurette about the score, audition footage of minor characters and that pointless slide show are disappointing.
There's charm here, but not much else.
I think you sold me a jalopy.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Music Featurette
* Still Gallery
* Free Music