Directed by Giles Foster
Starring Colin Firth, Tim Spall, Bill Paterson
"Suit yourself, but I think you're being a right twat."
"I don't give a fish's tit what you think."
Masterpiece Theater meets Porky's (sorta) in this drowsy Brit teen-com about a high school field hockey team from jolly old England who travel to Holland for a championship match and, with any luck, bang some hot Dutch chicks. From the beginning, it is quite obvious that director Giles Foster is well above tawdry ass-hunts - his name alone should tell you that much - so Dutch Girls looks like something completely different than what it's supposed to be. The photography is lush, the editing subtle, the acting proper and buttoned-up, with lots of "Tut-tuts" and "Cheerios". I'm sure this all works quite well on an episode of BBC Playhouse, but it's murder in a teen sex comedy.
It is somewhat alarming to see a lot of the well-known Brit actors in Dutch Girls as young men, particularly crooked-nosed villain Tim Spall (Sweeney Todd, The Last Hangman), who portrays Lyndon, the resident obnoxious slob, and Colin Firth (Bridget Jones' Diary) as Neil Truelove, the handsome, pensive one. Firth's acting style in this is very odd - he spends every scene looking at the floor and sighing, as if he's missed his last three doses of Prozac and is slipping into a deep, black depression. Truelove is our protagonist, such as it is. He and his motley assortment of prep-school pals head off to the Netherlands in a train and then a boat, trying their best to raise hell and hackles along the way. All they really do is gargle booze and chain smoke, though.
They finally arrive in Holland, where everybody is sent to various host homes for the week - Lyndon and Neil are stuck rooming together in the home of a prim and proper couple appalled (as you will be) with Lyndon's boorish behavior, i.e. puking, shitting, eating with his mouth open, and wandering around the house in a fur coat and bikini underwear.
Neil, of course, sighs wistfully and stares out the window. The next day during hockey practice, he meets a moon-faced blonde named Romelia (Gusta Gerriston) under a sun-soaked tree. She invites him and his friends to a disco that evening.
The disco has about five people in it. It's got fake wood paneling for walls and all the girls are homely. I'm not sure they planned for it to look so pathetic. I think they just picked a seriously low-rent disco to shoot in. Anyway, Romelia tries to draw Neil out of his shell, but no dice. She takes him home and makes him coffee and takes off her sweater to entice him (not her shirt, mind you, just her sweater), but he still won't bite. So she dumps him back at the house, where he walks in to find Lyndon passed out on the sofa, with a fresh pile of puke steaming away on the rug. This is all supposed to be funny, I think.
The team's coach, a pretentious loudmouth named Mole (Bill Paterson), decides to take the fellas on an educational field trip to the Van Gogh museum, but he takes a wrong turn somewhere and they end up in Amsterdam's red light district. This is the first time we actually get to see scantily clad girls in this dumb movie. Unfortunately it's short-lived, as Mole shoos them all out of there before anyone can bang a prostie.
And that's pretty much it. Romelia makes another disco-date with Neil, but he is sabotaged by oneof his douchebag classmates, so he misses her. They part tearfully at the bus stop the next day, Romelia sniffing, "Goodbye...Truelove..."
Honestly, Dutch Girls looks more like a coffee commercial than a movie. I apologize for wasting your time. I figured since it was about Dutch girls that it would have potential. Dutch girls usually put out, after all.
Spall and Firth are both rich and famous. Giles Foster probably has a butler named Cadbury at this point. Everybody else is acting in Agatha Christie movies, most likely.
Availability: Dutch Girls is available on DVD.
- Ken McIntyre