Film (with rating): Project X (R)
high school seniors on the low end of the popularity chart throw a birthday
party to make a name for themselves, but things quickly get out of control.
know I’m getting old. While watching this hand-held cam-style/”found
footage” movie of a party gone wild, my brain went in two directions: 1.)
How much money is this going to cost his parents to fix? 2.) I am never, ever,
ever leaving my children home alone. Even when they are 30.
Thomas (Thomas Mann) hopes to celebrate his birthday in
style when his folks leave for the weekend. But best buddy Costa (Oliver Cooper)
wants that celebration to include a few thousand of their “closest
friends” in an attempt to push them to the top of the social food chain.
Nice Guy Thomas doesn’t want his folks’ house to get trashed, but when you add
alcohol, sex, more alcohol, some Ecstasy, a couple of DJs, alcohol, a dog
strapped to a bunch of balloons, a psycho with a flame thrower and a little
person in an oven (yes, I can now finally say I saw a movie that used the
phrase “midget in the oven.” I am now a fulfilled woman. Enter
sarcastic smirk here.), you know that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
To start, this movie isn’t really a movie. It’s footage of a
party. There’s no plot. I made the mistake of trying to follow some sort of
storyline, and I wound up really confused. It’s not a comedy (unless you find
people throwing up on car windows funny), nor is it really a drama, because while
a lot of bad things happen, there are no real consequences (again, no plot
here, folks). The characters are beyond flat and stereotypical. The buddy Costa
is so annoying, I wanted to throw him in
the oven. “Project X” is beyond misogynistic, with so many gratuitous
boob shots you would think you were at a strip club. (Because flopping around
topless in a bounce house looks like a righteous good time, doesn’t it,
Once I got past the two parts of my brain that were
screaming in fear as they contemplated raising our own teens someday, I could
sort of appreciate “Project X” as a brainless romp. Sure, my high
school parties equated to a warm keg in the backyard and a boom box, maybe a
few Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers and a couple of kids smoking cigarettes
while listening to Depeche Mode. But the film made me remember what it was like
to be young and out for a Friday night party at someone’s house.
Will I watch this movie again? No. It was entirely
unbelievable, with 90 percent of the action happening for shock value alone. It
could have been much better if plot replaced vomit and real characters stood in
for all of the naked, faceless hedonists. At the very least, “Project
X” made me feel my age, but it also made me very grateful I’m not 17, trying
to explain to my parents why there are footprints inside the oven.
Extra highlight: Project X: Declassified
What to serve for dinner: Since this film will turn you into
a teenage boy, eat what a teen boy would eat: Order an extra-large pizza, have
it delivered, open up some beer and eat right in front of the TV. Don’t even
bother with plates.
What to talk about over dinner: What was the wildest party
you attended in high school? College? Ever? Did you throw crazy parties when
your folks were away? What happened? What was the craziest thing you ever did
in high school? Did you have a bully friend like Costa? Did you buy the ending
at all? What was your favorite part of the movie? Least? How could the movie
have been better? Did “Project X” make you fear for your kids, or
your house? What’s your favorite party movie?