Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Virginity Hit" more smarmy than funny

The Virginity Hit (2010) 
86 min., rated R.
Grade: C -

The inscrutable popularity of the YouTube video, “2 Girls, 1 cup,” was a disgusting curiosity of exhibitionism. "The Virginity Hit" is a “4 guys, 1 camera” or “The 17-year-old Virgin,” less graphic and a tad less disgusting, but what a voyeuristic experience this is. Written and directed by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland (who made some shorts before writing last month's "The Last Exorcism"), with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay getting producing credit, this prankish, unfiltered, hit-and-miss horndog-fantasy mockumentary pits four high school pals against their own virginity. 

After making a pact, all of the hormonal buddies from New Orleans, Zack, Jacob, and Justin have (unbelievably) gotten laid except the last in their circle, Zack's adopted brother, the gawky, stiff (no pun intended) Matt, and make it their goal to get him deflowered. As film major Zack says, “I'm gonna do to your virginity what Alfred Hitchcock did to birds.” He's been with his hottie girlfriend Nicole for 2 years, and plans to lose his virginity with her, but then he hears a rumor that she's cheated on him with a frat dude. If she cheats, is it warranted to get even by videotaping their first sexcapade in a hotel with all of his friends listening from the other room? Whatever, he does it, breaks up with Nicole, and he goes on a quest to lose his V-card. A sexually uninhibited 25-year-old stranger posts online, offering herself to Matt's cause to be his first and promises he won't regret it. Their actual scene together is cringe-inducing, but there's a surprise twist. On a road trip, Matt gets drunk and nearly hooks up with his adoptive sister, Krysta, but it's not-by-blood incest. Then his buddies try hooking Matt up with his favorite actress, porn star Sunny Leone. 

With "The Virginity Hit," there is more of a believability factor to the conceit of keeping the camera rolling. Why? Because no alien is destroying a city and nobody's tracking a witch in the woods. The getting-to-know-them section for the first 20 minutes makes these people likable and relatable at first, but then they become charmless, obnoxious, and self-humiliating duds. Everyone keeps their real first names and the not-really-actors get the chance to do some improv. If Michael Cera and Andy Samberg made a baby somehow (but hopefully don't), Matt Bennett would be the product. Subplots with Matt's now-deceased Cancer-stricken mother and his drug-addicted deadbeat father ground the movie a bit but feel queasy against all the sex stuff. 

Even with the amateurish, do-it-yourself aesthetics, "The Virginity Hit" is still a smarmy, brain-dead YouTube riff on "American Pie" and "Superbad" that gets its kicks out of jokes involving diarrhea and shaving pubic hair.

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