American independent filmmaking and toilet humor high school comedies ought never to mix. Sadly, nobody informed Danny Roth of this notion. His 2008 film Foreign Exchange attempts to make a low budget high school buddy film that happens to deal with global opinions on the American way of life. His attempts to mask legitimate commentary on American foreign relations through sex jokes and weed references fails miserably and viewers are left wondering why they did not simply rewatch American Pie. Foreign Exchange is a film that lacks in every sense of the word.
The film centers on a group of high school friends attempting to slack off for their senior year of high school. Part of this laziness includes hosting foreign exchange students in their homes. The central figure of this group is Dave (Ryan Pinkson) who foolishly assumes his exchange student Laurent to be a female. Along with his other friends he attempts to enjoy his last semesters without concern. In fact, the only thing Dave seems to show interest in is wooing his long time crush Robyn (Vanessa Lengies). Dave and his friends assume that they will all go of to college together and continue their wily ways without the burden of living at home, although this seems insignificant because each of the kids' parents are either nonexistent or overly supportive of their child's miserable life choices. I am sure you can guess the plot from here on out. Dave wins Robyn's heart and the guys all go their separate ways realizing that their lives after college are inevitably different. There is nothing left to elaborate on...the plot is as insignificant as the movie.
I will avoid heavy criticism of this movie and instead note the complete lack of ingenuity in regards to high school/college comedies. I am slowly coming to realize that this is a dead genre with nothing new left to offer. John Hughes basically covered all the issues of high school twenty years ago and every college film is simply a homage/remake of Animal House, with or without the existential issues of The Graduate. To be fair decent movies in this genre do occasionally arise both Van Wilder and Superbad come time mind as recent examples. Ultimately though, the college comedy is dead and there is no amount of "foreign" influence that can appear to fix it. We can only hope that a director emerges who is more concerned with telling a unique story than attempting to relive his high school years through bad cinematography and crude narration.
My closing words for this film are simple...do not bother.