Porky’s, the first of Bob Clark’s two enduring coming-of-age films (along with A Christmas Story), was once considered notorious and is now weirdly archetypal. The tits-and-zits genre, revived by American Pie, is fundamentally masculinist in way that feels uncomfortable post-Isla Vista, portraying a world in which the problems of men don’t just supersede those of women; it’s a world in which only men have problems, of which women are one.
Premature, you will be exhausted to hear, is a teen sex comedy with the plot of Groundhog Day, its supernatural comedy hearkening more to Scott Baio’s Zapped! than to Porky’s.
Uptight Ron (John Karna) keeps reliving the same day, waking up on the morning of his college entrance interview every time he has an orgasm. As in Groundhog Day, Ron at first revels in misbehavior and later becomes angry at the repetitions.
Underscoring the anachronism of the whole genre, the film includes a scene in which Ron openly gropes a beautiful teacher in front of her class — to its credit, the script describes this as the sexual assault that it is. But Ron never pays the consequences for fundamentally denying the woman’s agency; he has an orgasm and restarts the whole day instead.
So now we’re stuck with a main character we know is an unrepentant sex offender, basically. Dumb! Unlike Groundhog Day, Ron never strives to improve himself or even learn to play the piano; the best he can do is first sleep with, and later reject, a shallow, gorgeous, popular girl before realizing that his overlooked best friend, Gabrielle (Katie Findlay), is the girl of his dreams.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 2, 2014