VH1's 'Totally Awesome' Playfully Draws on '80s Teen Films
Spitting in the eye of history,
Almost every scene pays homage in some way to flicks such as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off,"
The Gunderson family is relocating from Pittsburgh to a small town in
Charlie is greeted by being named the geekiest senior at his new school, an insult punctuated by a kick in a tender area. Then he's humiliated by the school heartbreaker, Kimberly, who is in cahoots with the biggest man on campus, Kipp.
Things are even more distressing for 16-year-old Lori. Dance is her life and she's accomplished enough to have harbored aspirations to join the Pittsburgh Ballet. She's devastated to discover that her new school has outlawed dancing, because the last time it was allowed, people's feet became loose. To compensate for the ban, the school now stages "stand-arounds."
The Gunderson kids are undaunted. Charlie decides the way to win the girl of his dreams and get off the geek list is to win the school's decathlon championship. To prep, he enlists the aid of a gardener named Yamagashi, who encourages his protege with seemingly profound bromides.
Lori, meanwhile, conspires with an inept school janitor, Gabriel, to defy the dance ban in a revolutionary manner.
The cast, while clearly winking at the audience in every scene, plays it the only way they can to make the project work: totally straight.
Mikey Day and
The featured players are well complemented by
"Totally Awesome" is totally silly, but in a totally entertaining way.