Project X is a teen partying movie on steroids.
Fun? Sometimes. Funny? Not that often. Troubling? Consistently.
It’s Thomas’ birthday. He is 17. Mom and dad are leaving for his birthday weekend. His best buddy Costa wants to get laid.
What better way than at your best friend’s birthday bash. Oh. Wait. There’s a catch. Very few people on the planet — or in his narrow high school world — have a clue who Thomas is or even care. So if the birthday bash has any attendance at all, it will be limited. And the caliber of hot young women Costa lusts after? Forget it.
Unless — he — does — something — radical.
Unknown to everyone — and even Costa himself — he’s a marketing genius. Using a combination of email, text messages, an online ad and God knows what else, Costa manages to get a crowd. A very big crowd. No. It’s beyond a big crowd and moves into territory with the title, staggering. World record staggering.
By the end of the night, Thomas estimates there were 1,500 people at his bash. That brings us back to Thomas. He didn’t really want to have the party and reluctantly let Costa and his other best buddy JD toss the party. People in the house while Mom and Dad are away make him squeamish.
So he demands that the house be off-limits. And it is off-limits until about half the crowd is there. By mid-party, all the rooms are filled. But Costa promises Thomas that he can handle the crowd and he’s positive the mess is an easy, peasy fix. The reluctant Thomas continues to go along. Besides, by now naked girls are in the pool.
Lots of naked girls.
And on it goes until the predictable disaster gets even more disastrous. The neighbors are pissed. Cops are called. Near riot conditions exist. And Thomas — poor Thomas — he’s a hero to the crowd, but the house is trashed.
If you’re a teen or even a 20-something, this is definitely a party you’d love to take in. Older, more “mature” folk will be reminded of parties attended in the radical 1960s, 70s and the disco-laden 80s. Of course, those are memories and experiences do get exaggerated as we get older.
This party is not only an exaggeration, but it’s also predictable.
First-time film director Nima Nourizadeh’s film has all of the originality of counting from one to 10. No-name actors make the project cheap. His theory and that of writers Matt Drake (Spin City) and Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is that nothing can be more fun than watching kids getting drunk, stoned, terrorize a neighborhood and destroy personal property. And what’s not to love about all those naked ladies?
I don’t even like it. And it’s not the nudity or even good-natured partying. I’m not some sort of boring prude.
Films making heroes out of hedonistic teenagers bother me. They are disturbing. It’s all about me. Me, me, me. Sex, drugs and rock and roll. No conscience. No responsibility. Someone else can pay the bill. Who cares? I drink. I smoke. I text. Therefore, I am important. To me.
That’s what’s not to like. And what example does a movie like this to more impressionable youth?
The audience I saw the movie with was packed with teens and adults and the oohs and ahas said mayhem and destruction of someone’s property, out of control high school sex, drugs and drinking is perfectly all right. After all, it’s just a movie. Right?
Or is it.
And it’s “based” on a true story, the real deal, the party of all parties. Or — was — it — really? Some facts we dug up say the party happened in Australia. Other sources say Germany.
Urban legend sites have nothing about it. Neither does Snopes.com. That leads us to think this is myth and the rumor of it being the real deal is designed purely to sell tickets. Lots of them.
And this one — unfortunately — might.
Mr. Movie rating: 1 star
Rated R for mature themes, language, nudity, drug use. It opens Friday, March 2 at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.