There is one extremely funny character in Eurotrip. Out for adventure the summer before college, Scotty (Scott Mechlowicz), a lovelorn puppy with earnest eyebrows, and his three pals are taking the train across Europe when their compartment is invaded by a man with slick hair and a mustache who is described in the credits as Creepy Italian Guy. Played by Fred Armisen, a featured player on ”Saturday Night Live,” he proceeds to rest his hand on one of the kids’ knees, then nuzzle his neck, then feel up the rest of them in assorted creative ways. But that’s not really the funny part: The hilarious note is struck by the passionate, imploring way that Armisen keeps screaming ”Mis-cue-si!” (”Excuse me!”) each time he’s caught in another grimy grope. In the world according to ”Eurotrip,” the Europeans may be a twisted, outdated, ridiculous lot, but what defines them is that unlike the Americans, they’ve never quite evolved to irony: They treat even the scuzziest habits with dire sincerity.
I was hoping that ”Eurotrip,” if it was going to be a xenophobic bash, would at least come up with some honestly offensive ways to satirize the stuffy old continent, but the movie, shot in Prague on depopulated sets, appears to have been made by people whose chief experience with world travel consists of watching it on television. Scotty and his geek posse, which includes one girl (the charming Michelle Trachtenberg, from ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), have brushes with a Parisian robot mime, rancid British soccer hooligans (”You guys have a completely different level of swearing over here!”), and an Amsterdam S&M parlor that looks like it was designed to torture James Bond.
In the Vatican, one of them even puts on the Pope’s robes to greet the cheering throngs, but if ”Eurotrip” flirts with Continental nose-thumbing, make no mistake: This is a movie that mostly has naked breasts, rather than Europe, on its mind. Our quartet of travelers is unusually academic-minded for a soft-core road farce, which may reflect the way that the triumph of the laddie mags has altered the landscape. One no longer has to be a part of the in crowd to aspire to drunken, licentious slobhood; even the class brains can aim low.