Oh, that my kids were teenagers, so that I could forbid them from seeing The Virginity Hit.
A transgressive blend of stoner comedy, horny teenager movie and Blair Witch reality riff, this no-budget romp through teen New Orleans crosses the line and erases that line in a hell-bent pursuit of hell-bound laughs.
And yeah, it's often funny as all get out.
Four friends document their bong-hit celebrations as each loses his virginity his senior year in high school. Zack (Zack Pearlman) is the portly provocateur and would-be filmmaker in this quartet, the guy who records and YouTubes everything the guys do. When his sweet, committed-to-one-girl adoptive brother Matt (Matt Bennett) is the last of their number to remain a virgin, that becomes Zack's quest.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
"I'm going to do to your virginity what Hitchcock did to birds!"
We follow Matt's elaborate plans for the romantic night with his longtime girlfriend, Nicole (Nicole Weaver) — reserving rooms in the stately antebellum hotel (with its drawling pervert proprietor), planning the dinner, bonding with the girl's health-nut dad. A sweet moment? Dad (Daniel Weber) gives Matt cash so that the boy treats his daughter to a fine dinner and memorable night.
But Matt was reserving "rooms" at the hotel. Zack hides microphones all through the room and throws a party with friends next door, listening in. And when the best-laid plans for the evening implode, Matt's life goes into a tailspin that only even more elaborate plans to lose his virginity can save him from.
Shooting this DIY mockumentary on the cheap doesn't take away the wonderful depiction of hedonistic New Orleans that emerges here. We never see these kids in school. It's under-age bar and strip-club visits and parties in the bayou, a hormone-fueled binge of pot and liquor and porn.
The no-privacy-allowed nature of Zack's video obsession means we're blindsided by the odd tender moment: Zack's mom relating how she took Matt in, Matt's dead mom passing on her wishes to her kid by video, an ugly break-up scene that rings so true it hurts. Mostly, though, it's big bong hits (the biggest being the "lost-your-virginity hit") and relentless tackiness from the irrepressibly coarse Zack and his mates.
Bennett and Weaver stand out in the cast, giving us real emotions that interrupt the horndog pursuit. Jacob Davich and Justin Kline are the other two pals and barely register, but Krysta Rodriguez has a fiery sparkle as Zack's hard-partying older sister.
The air goes out of this smoky balloon about the time Matt meets a too-good-to-be-true potential sex partner on the Internet, and the finale packs the same message that every American Pie served up.
There's a bigger theme to this movie from the writer of The Last Exorcism and the team that made the comic mockumentary Mail Order Wife. A generation that feels the need to experience reality through a viewfinder, and then advertise the most intimate details of life — from shopping binges to sexual exploits — on the World Wide Web might wake up to find something missing. Intimacy is not intimate when the world knows about it. Pity I won't let my kids see it to get that message.