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'Premature' is a teen comedy that comes off a bit obvious

1. Craig Roberts and John Karna

1. Craig Roberts and John Karna Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert / Quantrell Colbert

It's impossible to discuss the new teen comedy "Premature" without first acknowledging its structural similarities to the Bill Murray classic "Groundhog Day."

"Premature" follows a never-ending day in the life of high school student Rob, who starts his morning waking up from a wet dream with his mother barging into his room. He's got a big interview with a college recruiter (Alan Tudyk) and evening plans of watching a spelling bee with his best friend Gabrielle (Katie Findlay).

Things don't go as planned, when the school bullies (here, they're the volleyball team, played for laughs) shoot Rob with a squirt gun filled with urine. Then he's confronted by beautiful blond Angela (Carlson Young), who wants him to come over and give her a tutoring session, and, he quickly discovers, sex. But Rob's a virgin, and, in case you forgot the title of the film, he is premature when it comes to the evening's festivities.

It is then that Rob discovers that whenever he orgasms, he is back in his bed from that morning, being awakened from a wet dream with his mother barging into the room. From there, each day is a rehash of the previous one with Rob getting a chance to change his day, often getting into some crazy high jinks, forcing him to ... lets say, take care of business to restart the day again.

With the familiar premise in hand, and a love triangle that's pretty well telegraphed, "Premature" is a bit obvious.

There are some funny moments -- Craig Roberts ("Submarine"), who plays Rob's friend steals the show here -- but the film does get repetitive.

By nature, a film like this and "Groundhog Day" will get repetitive, but while "Groundhog Day" left you excited to see what the next day would bring, here you're just waiting for Rob to move on to tomorrow.

2 stars
Directed by Dan Beers | Starring John Karna, Craig Roberts, Katie Findlay, Carlson Young, Alan Tudyk | Rated R | Playing at IFC Center

If you go: "Premature" director Dan Beers and actor Adam Riegler will be doing a Q&A Wednesday night at 8 moderated by comedian Dave Hill at IFC Center. 323 Sixth Ave | 212-924-7771

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