Vamps (PG-13)

Comedy 92
By Melissa Anderson
At times winningly dopey but still easily forgotten, Amy Heckerling's undead-BFFs comedy Vamps sends up our pop cultural fascination with bloodsucking but is itself a bit stiff with rigor mortis. "Remember: We said we’d keep up with the times, even if they aren't as good as the '80s," Stacy (Krysten Ritter), her coffin lined with pinups of Michael J. Fox and Matt Dillon, admonishes Goody (Alicia Silverstone).The vampiresses constantly point out the vapidity of Jersey Shore and iEverything. The decade Stacy lauds was, of course, the era of Heckerling's first film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), among the greatest of all teen movies, as is Clueless (1995), her tart SoCal girl-power update of Jane Austen's Emma. Heckerling shoehorns in plotlines involving characters name-checked from Bram Stoker's novel, updated for our numskull times: Clueless vet Wallace Shawn plays vampire hunter Van Helsing, now working for the Department of Homeland Security; Goody and Stacy meet Dracula inspiration Vlad the Impaler (Malcolm McDowell) at a meeting of Sanguines Anonymous. McDowell's Slavic accent is slightly less laughable than that of Justin Kirk, playing a lecherous Ukrainian vampire named Vadim; they are both master linguists compared with Kristen Johnston, whose Mrs. Van Helsing speaks in a posh Britspeak seemingly learned from Rosetta Stone software engineered by Madonna. When Goody and Stacy aren't contrasting their non-homicidal vampirism with the unslakable bloodlust of Cisserus (Sigourney Weaver), they're simply besties trying to negotiate Manhattan single life. As in Sex and the City, this leads to groaners: "I didn’t put in rollers-- I'm going to have coffin hair!"
Amy Heckerling Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter, Dan Stevens, Richard Lewis, Sigourney Weaver, Wallace Shawn, Justin Kirk Amy Heckerling


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