Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2008 // 96 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 21st, 2010
Where every fantasy comes true.
What would life be like in a world populated exclusively by porn stars? Booster shots as far as the eye could see, I would imagine.
Best friends Carl (Brendan Hines, Lie to Me) and Lester (Chris Pratt, Parks and Recreation) are about to be sucked into a parallel dimension that exists within the fictional storylines of various adult films. Their conduit? A vintage video booth. When they fire it up, they're magically transported to a world where Denise Richards plays a slutty sorority house mother, Scott Caan is a horny cop, and buxom blonde women consistently draw attention to their breasts.
The concept had some potential. The execution was lackluster. That's pretty much all you need to know about the fortunes of Deep in the Valley, a sex comedy that somehow manages to be both sleazy and prudish in the sex department and wildly uneven when it comes to the comedy.
Again, I had moderate hopes for the premise. A magic world that exists by the ludicrous rules that govern adult films? That's a script that writes itself...or, at the very least, receives a helping hand from a horny tenth-grader. The end result is mixed. Some of the jokes land -- there are some fun take-offs on goofy porn settings, like a prison full of combative female prisoners a few degrees removed from full-blown lesbian encounters, or a hospital staffed by nurses who, well you get the picture -- but there are a lot of missed opportunities and jokes that hit with a thud.
What ultimately hamstrings the film is a dead spot in the final third, where only some trademark shenanigans from a Tracy Morgan cameo save the endeavor from completely imploding. There's also a tiresome plot involving Carl and how he falls in love with one of the porn stars, which is simultaneously predictable and boring.
There are some high points, though. Scott Caan is probably the funniest guy here, playing the brain-dead stud perfectly. Whenever he's on screen (which is a fair amount, actually) there is at least a few molecules of funny trailing him. Coming in second is Chris Pratt, who's very funny on Parks and shows glimpses of the moron he plays on that show. Typically, he's subjected to the film's gross-out gags, but gets some good dialogue.
Finally, despite the subject matter, there's not a whole lot of far-out skin going on here. You'll get a few fleeting shots of toplessness, but there's nothing super-sexual going on. So, enjoy the breasts, I suppose.
The DVD sports a very clean 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and 5.1 surround, but the feature that's getting all the ink on the case is the "Naked Commentary," a pop-up in-movie feature starring a woman who delivers factoids sans top. The last extra is a series of cast and crew interviews.
Deep in the Valley isn't a complete failure, but it could have been a lot funnier and probably a lot sexier for most of the target demographic.
Off to sex rehab with you.
Review content copyright © 2010 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated