After Manure quietly (and not-so-quietly) stunk up the scene at the Sundance Film Festival, the Polish Brothers (Mark and Michael) have returned to the festival circuit with Stay Cool -- a film that leaps into your lap with its perky, original concept, but then slowly but surely fails to deliver ... well, pretty much everything. What we have here is an on-the-verge-of-40 novelist (Mark Polish) who returns to his hometown only to find himself stuck in a really bad, cliched '80s movie -- complete with two bonehead best friends, mean teachers, a moronic high school principal and a hardcore crush on that girl whose meat-head boyfriend is named Brad. And I don't mean cliched '80s movie in a bad way -- that's kinda the point with Stay Cool; our lovable, somewhat-awkward novelist learns that he must overcome the fears and regrets he's had since graduating 20 years ago by living his worst moments all over again.
Some have said Stay Cool is like 17 Again in reverse, which it sorta is -- except there's no magical, supernatural element here. Our guy just somehow finds himself re-living those weird, painful high school moments (as an adult) until he finally comes to grips with his past and his present, and, of course, manages to stay cool.