The best thing about the Gravitas Ventures road-trip comedy "Baja," which is a new On Demand and Digital HD film, is that it greatly exceeds limited expectations. What is anticipated to be a film-school quality movie with flat acting turns out to be an oft-amusing interesting story by writer-director Tony Vidal.
The "Saved By the Bell"/"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" vibe begins 22 year-old sporting-goods store management trainee Bryan being a relatively chill Screech. He lives in his childhood home and is a day away from beginning his mission of driving the $500,000 RV of his parents from San Diego to the titular resort destination.
As often is the case in "Bell," the Zack Morris of "Baja" instigates the primary action. Trust fund baby/party animal Todd roars into the store on his motor bike and begins his campaign of getting Bryan to stand up to those on whom he depends for his income and his housing.
The boys soon run into Todd friend Jessica, who is a Jessie type neurotic film student, and her "Kelly" friend Lisa. Pretty dark-haired Lisa spends her days tending to her abusive needy mother.
Todd uses his metapowers of persuasion to convince Bryan to take a detour and to take him and the girls along for the ride. Todd needs to make a run for the border to seal an important deal, Lisa wants to reunite with her long-lost father, and Jessica is coming to shoot an important project for school.
Discovering contraband in the storage space and a stowaway in his bed commences the amping up of the anxiety of Bryan and triggers much of the hilarity that ensues in the film.
The gang ultimately finds itself trying to pull off a comically absurd scheme effectively to get Bryan to the church on time and to ensure that Todd goes home with all of his appendages intact. Of course, these meddling kids almost get away with it but things still work out in the end and everyone both learns an important lesson and ends up with the love of his or her life.
Too especially cool aspects are how Vidal gives Todd a look at "Christmas Future" and temporarily turns this standard U.S. comedy into a telenovela.
It is equally cool that Vidal reminds us of the awesomeness of '80s teencoms. It is nice that some people still make 'em like that.
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