Judge Ike Oden's high school romances veered more toward abstinence hits. Stupid headgear.
"I'm gonna do for your virginity what Alfred Hitchcock did for birds."
When four buddies make a pact to lose their virginity by the end of high school, Matt (Matt Bennet, Victorious) finds himself running last. With some pushing from his would-be documentarian stepbrother, Zach (Zach Pearlman, The Inbetweeners), Matt makes plans to lose his virginity to long-time girlfriend Nicole (Nicole Weaver, As The World Turns). Nearing the big day, Matt finds out Nicole might not have been as faithful to the plan as they agreed. Rather than confront her with it, Zach convinces Matt to pull off a mean-spirited prank as revenge during their first time together. When it blows up Matt's face, Zach rallies Matt's friends and family behind a series of half-baked ploys to get Matt over Nicole (re: get him laid) once and for all-documenting every second of it on camera.
Believe it or not, The Virginity Hit is an important film. Yes, it's a teen sex romp with all the benchmarks of bad taste set down by films like American Pie, Superbad, and Porkys. But it's also a uniquely honest look at teenage sexuality filtered through the lens of YouTube, that strange video sharing site that's as lousy with talented filmmakers as it is narcissistic whiners and bootlegged media. While The Virginity Hit tells the story of Matt's quest to be deflowered, it is filtered through the viewpoint of Zach, a hilarious, if mean spirited channel that makes The Virginity Hit stand apart as a teen sex romp.
Writer/directors Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko (The Last Exorcism) rely less on Borat or Spinal Tap style comedy setpieces and focus more on the characters themselves, rooting the film's comedy in a great deal of realism. Zach and Matt feel less like sex-crazed adolescents from a Superbad or American Pie knockoff, and more like real teenagers.
The trouble is, real teenagers aren't always that likeable. The most common complaint I've encountered about the film is that the film's protagonist, Matt, isn't especially sympathetic—the planned prank he goes along with is beyond cruel, culminating in a scene that's as painful to watch as it is funny. While it is important to note a sub-current of mean spiritedness that runs through The Virginity Hit, we must keep in mind that the film is about teenage boys, a species that is more or less genetically predisposed to weakness when it comes to mean jokes, raging hormones and cheap beer.
Matt succumbs to most of these traits. Like most 17-year-old boys, this makes him sort of an a-hole, but he's also a sensitive, romantic idealist who wants his first time to be perfect. He isn't the sort of character who can roll with the punches, a character flaw that usually results in his brother, Zach (an obnoxious, if well-meaning a-hole) pushing him into situations for his own benefit. The duo are classic archetypes of the teen-sex romp genre—the sensitive nerd and the bullying best friend—but they're so realistically acted and written (through predominately improved performances) that its hard not to identify with them on some repressed adolescent level. If you want idealized versions of Seth Rogen when he was a teen, go watch Superbad. If you want to see a pair of characters you probably knew in high school try haphazardly to come of age, The Virginity Hit is the film for you.
Directors Gurland and Botko wisely use the documentary approach on viral video, namely Zach's YouTube account. This story device ingeniously condenses the narrative while also highlighting the heightened narcissism of our teenage protagonists. The Virginity Hit creates a unique thematic parallel between Matt's wish to have the perfect deflowering with an unnatural inhibition towards having the whole ordeal chronicled on camera.
Despite the fact his brother consistently posts his embarrassing situations on the internet, Matt continues to let him film. Only when another character besides Zach posts him in a compromising position does Matt finally cut his brother off. This would be a difficult posit in any other film, but The Virginity Hit uses its mockumentary style to distinguish its characters relationship. Zach has a great deal of influence over Matt, and his posting only goes too far when Zach misguides his brother into another character's—and camera's—control.
The relationship between the best friends—which fluxes somewhere between family and director/subject—is worked out by the filmmakers on a wonderfully cinematic level. The filmmakers smartly and consistently use their mock-doc framing as more than a gimmick, but an extension of the characters themselves. How Zach regains Matt's trust again won't be spoiled here, but it brings a uniquely hilarious take on the "hooker with a heart of gold" plot device, courtesy of Vivid Girl, Sunny Leone, who plays herself. There's nudity, partying, and sex jokes galore, but thankfully The Virginity Hit is more than just a modern take on Porky's—it's a carefully constructed, memorable take on the subgenre that's much deeper than it would have you believe.
Sony puts in another solid effort with The Virginity Hit. The film, shot by Luke Geissbuhler (Borat), goes for an intentionally low-tech style. It feels real, but sacrifices a lot of details and clarity as a byproduct. The transfer balances a very sharp image and strong black levels with the film's consumer grade aesthetic. The 5.1 audio mix caters to it equally well, heavy on dialogue (which is nice and clear) while not overdoing the sound effects.
The extras presented are strong, if sparse. A commentary track by Zach, Matt, and the directors is a very funny and informative track in the vein of an Evil Dead 2 or View Askew commentary. A Screen Test for Zach and Matt is really just the film's second act condensed into a short film. As one, it's a damn funny short, with lots of deviations from the final film version that make it worth checking out. "Zack's Funny or Die Audition" has the actor giving an embarrassing monologue to win his part. It's amusing and shows off the comedic chops that won him the role. "Jersey Girl" is a documentary on co-star Nicole Weaver, who, despite the building buzz for The Virginity Hit, chose to keep her job at a New Jersey T.G.I. Friday's, rather than heading off to L.A. in search of fame and fortune. It's an interesting look at a small town girl on the verge of fame with a lot of funny and emotional moments despite its brief running time. Finally, "Line-o-Rama" offers Zach's many improvisations during a driving scene.
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