Is it a cautionary tale for parents everywhere? Or is it every immoral teenage boy's dream? "Project X" is both — though far more of the latter are likely to pay $9 at the theater to see it.
Produced by Todd Phillips of "The Hangover," "Project X" is an apparent attempt to produce the new era's delinquent generational film. An updated "Animal House," "Risky Business" or "Dazed and Confused." The teens behaving very, very badly genre.
Starring a cast of unknowns, "Project X" goes with a documentary-style shaky cam to show three geeky high-school students attempting to throw the party to end all parties.
The most likable of the three is Thomas Mann as Thomas, the soft-spoken birthday boy whose parents are trusting him with their suburban Pasadena house while they go on a weekend trip. Oliver Cooper is fast-talking Costa, the schmoozer and organizer. Jonathan Daniel Brown is J.B., the token chubby sidekick.
Thomas is reluctant to turn his house over for the bash and tries to set certain limitations, but then the party begins and everything escalates.
What follows is excessive, well, everything. Hundreds of high-schoolers with raging hormones, endless supplies of alcohol and mounds of drugs. Plenty of profanity and countless bare breasts.
Yes, kids, I know I had you at "raging hormones," but honestly, I'm not trying to tell you this movie is a must-see.
The film doesn't really have a plot, or a script, as far as anyone can tell. The characters aren't very appealing — a must for this kind of movie — and it's much like a real party in that the jokes aren't really that funny if you're not drunk.
"Project X" has some nifty montages of debauchery, and I won't deny that the teenage boy inside of me smiled from time to time. Without, however, a story or any memorable characters or the humor of, say, "Superbad," this doesn't seem like the decade's tent-pole teen film.
The movie, though, should make parents rethink not just leaving kids at home alone, but having kids in the first place.
Rental recommendation: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" tackled teen irresponsibility in a somewhat more clever fashion. Grade: A
Email Steve Ouellette at: