Justified and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are two of my favorite TV shows of all-time, but those aren’t the titles I think of whenever I see Jacob Pitts and Michelle Trachtenberg. Nope, that would be EuroTrip, a not-good movie that I unabashedly love. During my freshman year of college, when I wasn’t watching Shaun of the Dead or Anchorman, I was quoting EuroTrip, because I am every stupid male college student ever. I’m only half-ashamed to admit that it’s one of my “if it’s on TV, I’m not leaving the couch until it’s over” movies, right up there with GoodFellas and…OK, now I want to watch GoodFellas.
But why do I like that dumb movie (not GoodFellas) so much? I honestly have no idea, although I’m guessing a tattooed Matt Damon singing a song about sleeping with some guy’s “sex puppet” of a girlfriend behind his back has something to do with it. That “some guy”: Scotty, and he doesn’t know.
EuroTrip, which didn’t even make its $25 million budget back at the box office, came out in 2004, the same year Damon appeared in Ocean’s Twelve and The Bourne Supremacy. So what the hell was he doing at a high school graduation party in Ohio? Well, the first thing you ought to know is, and this really shouldn’t surprise you, that’s not Damon singing — it’s Chris Baird, the lead singer of Boston-based pop punk band Lustra. It’s easy to assume that the Boston connection has something to do with Damon’s involvement, but it doesn’t. In fact, EuroTrip wasn’t even filmed in the United States. All the magic happened in Prague, including the “Scotty Doesn’t Know” scene, which was shot at the International School of Prague. Damon was also in Prague at the same time, filming The Brothers Grimm.
That’s part one. Part two takes us back to 1988, when Damon, who’s celebrating a birthday today, was a student at Harvard, the same university that Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and Dave Mandel also attended. Who are they? The writers, directors, and producers of EuroTrip (some Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm shows, too — Schaffer also created The League with his wife, Jackie).
So there you go: were it not for Harvard, there would be no “Scotty Doesn’t Know” with Matt Damon. ‘Bout time Boston did some good in the world.