Virginity is an understandably evergreen topic in Hollywood, because teenagers tend to buy a lot of movie tickets — and every few years there's a new crop of 'em, eager to rid themselves of the dreaded "V" curse. Amid a nearly endless stream of low-budget teen sex romps — such as last year's Sex Drive — anything resembling a new idea is welcome, even if those ideas are more about presentation than content.
The Virginity Hit was shot entirely with handheld DV cameras in formats of varying quality, from lush widescreen to scratchy stuff meant to look like Internet video. In fact, YouTube plays a pivotal role here, as one of the movie's New Orleans high school crew is obsessed with recording every fart, giggle and pratfall of his dumb buddies, and posting it online, no matter how mortifying.
The title refers to the most excellent naked devil-lady water bong the gang uses only for very special occasions; namely when one of them successfully pops his first nut. Gradually that magical piece of paraphernalia gets a good bit of use, despite these guys being unappealing goons, until only the perpetually shy and brainy Matt (Matt Bennett) has yet to inhale the sweet toke of victory. Despite being a mega-nerd, Matt actually has a smart and adorable girlfriend (Nicole Weaver), but their plans for that special moment keep getting interrupted by their nosy, camera-happy friends. Worse, Nicole has a few too many Jell-O shots at a frat party rager, and allegedly "hooks up" with a slick college guy. Dude, that blows. This act of heinous treachery sends Matt and his adopted brother/BFF Zach on a series of increasingly baroque escapades in order to lose Matt's cherry, including road trips, petty larceny, assault, breaking and entering, and other harmless pranks. After a disastrous online date, Zach decides the only reasonable move is to hire Matt's favorite porn actress Sunny Leone to do the special deed. In order to raise her asking price, the guys try a number of tricks, including a car wash thrown by their nubile, bikini-clad classmates. This prompts the question how these losers are always surrounded by hot babes, and why one of these party girls wouldn't be a better choice for Matt's slump-breaking magic moment?
Of course, thinking too hard is not a good idea with a film like this, which manages to be engaging and occasionally even poignant, while never being quite as funny as it thinks it is.
Ginger-topped Ann Arbor native Zach Pearlman is like a fatter, meaner Ralph Malph, but he has the best comedic chops of the inexperienced cast. The loose, improvised dialogue grounds the cartoon antics in something almost real, while the often bumpy camera work lends immediacy to the too-honest, too-glib, and squirmy confessional tone of social-networked kids used to living every moment of their lives in the spotlight. It's not your father's sex comedy, but every generation deserves silly smut of its own.
Playing at the Rave Motion Pictures Ann Arbor 20, 4100 Carpenter Rd., Ypsilanti; 734-973-8424.
Corey Hall writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].