Cougar Hunting (2011)
Directed by: Robin Blazak | 88 minutes | comedy, romance | Actors: Matt Prokop, Randy Wayne, Jillian Murray, Robin Blazak, Vanessa Angel, Lara Flynn Boyle, Jareb Dauplaise, Frank Drank, Ellen Falguiere, Jim Ferraro, Bryce Foster, Ricardo Gil, Tom Horne, Brian Johannsen, Laura Leigh, Connie Monroe
Some jokes are fun for their punch line, others purely for a standout feature, such as their astonishing stupidity. The few times you have to laugh in Cougar Hunting, if at all, will be mostly because of that last reason. That’s possible, ‘Cougar Hunting’ presents itself proudly, openly and bare-bones as a bawdy teenage comedy, but it would have helped for the entertainment if the film had offered anything more than car-sailing diarrhea and salami sausages in tight pants.
The idea of ’Cougar Hunting’ is not that crazy in its genre: three friends with an overabundance of hormones travel to a fashionable winter sports village (Aspen, Colorado) to hunt for nocturnal adventures with rich and especially older women. When women over 40 have a preference for young boyfriends, they are called ‘cougars’ in America: ‘leopards’. Maybe because of their fur coats and their ‘hunting’ of younger prey, but it could just as well be because botox and facelifts give such women a somewhat predatory appearance. In any case, ‘Cougar Hunting’ does not provide a definitive answer, but simply calls every woman in the picture a ‘cougar’.
The story is driven by youthful sex drive (almost every sentence is glaringly ambiguous) and strung together by the insufferably roguish voiceover of Dick (Randy Wayne). He also introduces his friends: Tom (Jareb Dauplaise, vomiting every sentence as if every word in the screenplay had an exclamation mark stuck to it) and Tyler (Matt Prokop). At 21, Tyler is still a virgin because he hasn’t met the right woman yet. (Maybe it’s actually his sixties women’s haircut.) Tyler has just found out that his girlfriend Britney has run off with an older man, a local car wash king. Her reason: “I need sex.” When Tyler, in frustration, throws a compromising photo out of his car window, it is discovered by a hitchhiker, who immediately sets off on a violent masturbation. It characterizes the bawdy ‘humour’ in the rest of the film, which nevertheless cannot lose its good manners. Some one-twos are almost reminiscent of a series like ‘Happy Days’: “Do you realize that every girl here hates you?” / “Yes, but they all loved me once.” When a fourth pawn in the game tells them about cougar Valhalla Aspen, Tom, Dick and Tyler quickly give in. Moments later they are on their way, “with loaded penises and testicular ammunition”. According to Dick, who really already has the right to vote. Their adventures in Aspen are explained in the same adolescent way (you can’t deny director Robin Blazak a sense of style). All the women here are exactly what the boys want—hot, willing, and unencumbered by anything like realism. There is one über-cougar in the village, in satin-white clothing and with, according to Dick, “perfect pipe lips”. She is constantly throwing hand kisses at Dick. It later turns out not even Dick’s fantasy. Brave Tyler actually meets a young and intelligent girl; Penelope (Jillian Murray) and threatens to fall in love. But beautiful Kathy (Lara Flynn Boyle) puts a stop to that. Tom, finally, makes it with a married woman, right down to the kitchen table.
‘Cougar Hunting’ offers an hour and a half of outdated boxer shorts fun supported by a soundtrack of predictable teenage rock. The acting is largely high school – both the gestures and the dialogues fit best in a silent movie. What really comes to mind afterwards is that director Robin Blazak is a woman. In the film, Blazak can be seen as ‘Linda’, a hysterical girlfriend of Lara Flynn Boyle. You would almost think that she mainly plays herself there.