Nick & Shawn got into football to impress chicks. When their coach announces that their football camp has been moved from the beach to land locked Texas they panic about spending two weeks without girls, and decide to jump ship and join the cheer squad so they can go to cheer camp and be surrounded by hundreds of men deprived women. Although their cheer squad questions Sawn & Nick’s motives they let the boys join because they are in desperate need of something to keep them from ending cheer camp in last place for another year.
Fired Up is a silly movie, but I laughed from beginning to end. The premise of girl starved high school males may have been done in dozens of movies before, but Fired Up manages to make this concept fun again. The majority of this rests on the characters of Nick & Shawn played by Eric Christian Olsen & Nicholas D’Agosto.
Olsen & D’Agosto have a natural chemistry together that makes for amazing comic timing. Watching Nick & Shawn is made fun because of this. They are two halves of one whole but they complement each other so well that you don’t want them to be torn apart. Nick should not be without Shawn’s watchful eye and Shawn can never be too intellectual because of Shawn’s quick quips and sexist observations. I truly hope Olsen & D’Agosto work together again; you can’t force chemistry and these two are the best pairing I have seen in years.
Perhaps what is most surprising about Fired Up is the intelligence behind it. These are well written characters even though they are stereotypes; the football coach is a beautiful exaggeration, a cheerleader is a closet lesbian, the jocks are brick headed – everything is what you expect but so well crafted that the characters flow naturally in their world and don’t do anything that seems expected in a negative way. Screenwriter Freedom Jones even manages to work in a character arch for both Shawn and Nick and keep the film quippy and funny. Perhaps my favorite sequence in the film has to do with when Nick & Shawn are cooking dinner and realizing that Nick knows the names of and cares for the girls on the cheer squad.
Fired Up may be a movie in the vein of American Pie but I somehow the tone coming out of the film is far more joyful than that franchise left me. This is one DVD that is going to be added to my collection as soon as I can.
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Freedom Jones
Shawn: Nicholas D’Agosto
Nick: Eric Christian Olsen
Carly: Sarah Roemer
Diora: Molly Sims
Dr. Rick: David Walton
Poppy: Juliette Goglia
Coach Byrnes: Philip Baker Hall
Coach Keith: John Michael Higgins
Nick: Bottomless breadsticks only keep you at the Olive Garden for so long, until at some point you look up and say 'Why the hell am I at the Olive Garden with all these fat people?'