Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (Movie Review)
“Nerds in Paradise” was released July 10th, 1987. The film’s World-wide gross was $30,063,289.
This time, Tri-Lambda members Louis Skolnick (Robert Carradine), Booger (Curtis Armstrong), Lamar (Larry B. Scott), Poindexter (Timothy Busfield) and Wormser (Andrew Cassese) travel to the United Fraternity Conference in Fort Lauderdale to represents Adams College and possibly, get laid. This is the Fort Lauderdale of late 80s spring breaks which were legendary for wreaking havoc. While not as raunchy as part I, Revenge of the Nerds: Nerds in Paradise does have a certain charm to it. Nothing better than seeing our favourite nerds in action.
Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) only makes a cameo. Somehow, his character broke a leg playing chess. Takashi is missing and his absence is never explained. Wormser is slightly older than in part I.
The movie exaggerates the level of rejection experienced by nerds. Everyone has a bit of nerd in them. Wouldn’t most of scientists that help human advancement count as nerds? The last eight years, we had a frat guy in the White House and look what happened. Then again, without the exaggerated nerd and jock behaviours, we wouldn’t have a movie.
The film’s plot is basically the same as part one; the Nerds arrive, face rejection and dirty tricks from the Alpha-Betas, and then go on the offensive. This time, the Alpha Betas are led by the ridiculously preppy Roger Lattimore (Bradley Whitford) and the beastly Ogre (who is identical to Seth Rogen). The Alphas do everything in their power to have the Tri-Lambdas expulsed from the conference and have their chapter revoked.
The Alphas manage to have the Nerds kicked out of the fancy Royal Flamingo Hotel (possibly an Embassy Suites). The Nerds are then forced to stay at Coral Essex Hotel which resembles a downtrodden motel in then drug-dealing paradise South Beach, run by your typical Carmen Miranda-inspired Cuban maid.
Since Gilbert is MIA, Louis must lead the Nerds to victory.
Along the process the Nerds are joined by rejected hotel employee and wannabe rapper Stewart (Barry Sobel) and girl-next-door Sunny (Courtney Thorne-Smith of Melrose Place fame) who serves as Louis’ love interest. Betty, his girlfriend from part I stayed home at Adams.
With the Alphas on the attack and their charter under threat, can the Nerds’ wit and ingenuity help them save the day (and possibly get laid)? Don’t ask me, go watch the movie. It came out 20 years ago and cost $2.99 at Wal-Mart.
To be a Nerd or Not to be a Nerd
While the first Nerds movie is a Nerd-infested version of Porky’s, Nerds In Paradise is incredibly tame in comparison. It looks like it could have easily been directed by John Hughes. Some observers blame this trend on the increasing conservatism of the late 80s, represented by groups such as the Parent’s Music Resource Center. So, while the first Nerd’s movie had plenty of naked chicks, the sequel just give us some wet t-shirts (sorry guys).
At one point, the alphas try to introduce proposition 15, requiring fraternities to have physical standards which the Nerds would most likely fail since they’re not exactly gym-rats. The Nerds organize a street festival where they put on a heavily Beastie Boy-inspired song-and-dance number. Other fraternities, impressed by the Nerds’ talent and coolness, vote down the proposition.
Now let’s do some backtrack: in part I, the Nerds’ song-and-dance performance was inspired by Devo, with a sprinkling of Michael Jackson. Their performance beat the Alpha’s tough-guy-in-cheerleader-drag skit. Twenty years later, the creators of Napoleon Dynamite copied this idea and nobody seemed to notice (if I were a producer, director or script writer for the Nerds franchise, I’d sue the makers Napoleon Dynamite). But don’t tell the hipsters, they believe Napoleon can do no wrong…gosh.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked Napoleon Dynamite too, but they copied an idea that was a pivotal scene in the movie.
In case you’re wondering if people like Booger really go to college, well they do. I lived in a college dorm for a while and one of my roommates resembled Booger heavily. He claimed to be a punk anarchist, wore a leather jacket, ripped jeans and dirty sneakers and wasn’t embarrassed of the fact that he was 32 and living in a college dorm.
Courtney Thorne-Smith, on whom I had a crush since her Melrose days, plays Sunny, a hotel employee who combines beauty with brains (she knows what glial cells are). She is also Louis’ potential love interest.
While most movies lie, I don’t find it odd if a girl like Sunny is smart and has an attraction for a nerd like Louis. What I find strange is that she would be called Sunny; that sounds more like a name for a Playboy playmate or a beach bunny.
Wormser, who must be around 15 or 16 here, has several fake IDs that he made himself. This reminds me of McLovin from “SuperBad”, skinny nerdy kid with a fake ID for buying alcohol. Another ripped off idea, whatever happened to originality?
How does it relate to South Florida?
Revenge of the Nerds: Nerds in Paradise was filmed in Fort Lauderdale. We see scenes of the old historic buildings, later demolished to make way for what is now Riverwalk.
The Coral Essex Hotel looks like it’s located in the strip along Hollywood Beach, close where the Hollywood beach amphitheatre is located.
When the Nerds are being driven to the airport by Mr. Skolnick, a few Florida road signs are visible.
Being that the film is from 1987 and they’re in Fort Lauderdale, there was a large amount of mullets and other strange hair cuts. Around this time, Fort Lauderdale had some legendarily raucous Spring Breaks, until the town leaders pulled the plug on the party.
I assume if NiP, was remade today, the Nerds would visit South Beach. Back in 1987, South Beach would have been too dangerous for any college students on vacation to venture around with all the hookers and cocaine cowboys.
Thankfully, Miami Beach regained it’s title as party paradise. For all I care, the retirees, the trailer folks and suburban families can keep Fort Lauderdale.
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