We all remember that classic “Saturday Night Live” skit where Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze were both auditioning to be Chippendales dancers. Balls to the Wall is a whole movie about that sketch, only it’s a skinny guy versus all the buff strippers. It’s also a “must earn $X” plot like all the SNL movies. Penelope Spheeris even directed this.
Ben Camelino (Joe Hursley) has to get $50,000 to pay for his wedding to Rachel (Jenna Dewan). Her dad Jack (Christopher McDonald) is supposed to be rich but he lost all the money, and Ben wanders into a male strip club where Jack is meeting his loan shark. Forced on stage through hilarious circumstances (not really), the girls actually like Ben.
Balls to the Wall will obviously go straight to video and Comedy Central, so there’s really no point giving it an official analysis. But her I am at the Newport Beach Film Festival and this was the Saturday Night Centerpiece.
There was a way to do this movie. You could’ve invented a crazy world of strippers, or at least weird characters. Spheeris and screenwriter Jason Nutt just settled for a lame dance show with dumb beefcakes. It’s not demeaning enough to be dark. It’s just silly. At least Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo changed the joke from sex to self-esteem.
You’ve got to give it to Hursley though. He’s doing his best to be charming in a role that’s not going to take him to the next level, through no fault of his own. An actor’s got to work. The supporting players totally overact like they’re trying to stand out, because they really need it.
One gross-out joke made me giggle in spite of myself. Tea bagging will always make me laugh, and there’s a good tea bagging joke. Iceman (Nic Few) whips his hair around, and really covers an impressive radius. They did give all the dance routines a theme, but they’re just clichés.
So in case you were wondering, when Balls to the Wall comes around, in whatever format it is ultimately available, no, you do not need to give it a chance.