REVIEW: The Virginity Hit [2010]

“Have you ever seen your mom naked? … I have.”

Writers Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko saw some decent success with The Last Exorcism last month, but did anyone know they also concocted a faux documentary style American Pie, eventually scooped up by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions? The movie is called The Virginity Hit and the title is pretty much on the nose concerning four high school nerds and a pack to take a toke off their naked woman shaped bong once they cash in their V-cards. Shot on handheld cameras, both grainy and really grainy, we are shown a montage of Zack, Justin, and Jacob’s victory laps, winding down to the big show—Matt and his girlfriend Nicole’s two year anniversary, also known as the day a boy becomes a man. It can’t be that easy, though, this is a full-length feature film. So, the boys throw in extracurricular cheating with college kids, retail store theft, (The Black Label Job is hilarious), Masters thesis psychological experiments on men, and porn stars, putting all the footage on YouTube to share their embarrassment with the world.

First things first—the aesthetic and concept is spot-on. Everyone involved is an actor, nothing about that is secret, especially since I don’t see many people coming off the streets to see this film without knowing what’s what, but the awkward innocence comes across as real life. These kids may in fact be a little too geeky to believe as partiers constantly hanging out with some attractive young ladies, (Justin Kline’s stache is totally the kind you’d work all year growing out and Matt Bennett comes across as a tad too effeminate to score a girl like Nicole Weaver), until glimpses of Matt rockin’ out comically on his acoustic guitar and Zack shot-gunning beers occur. It’s senior year of high school and these boys have one thing on their minds. Sex is the name of the game and behind every single action taken making The Virginity Hit a hard-R that can attract a young crowd to laugh it up because they’ve been there before and, in all honesty, to enjoy some genuinely funny moments.

However, once the novelty of the exercise wears off, the film spirals into a boredom inducing monotony of events that resemble the sketch comedy it is rather than the real-life escapades it’s trying to portray. A bunch of friends rent an adjoining hotel room with speakers and cameras set up to capture Matt’s first time; a frat party’s aftermath sees a stripper refusing to leave as she attempts to glean breakfast and some extra cash; kids break into a friends house while her father chases them around, threatening to call the cops; and two teenagers engage in a slapping fight—did I say they are sometimes uber-pathetic? And that is just the tip of the crazy iceberg; Matt is actually the adopted son of Zack’s parents, (the two have been friends since age 9), after his mother passed from cancer and his father left on a drug-addled binge to the swamps. It’s a weird familial relationship made even more so by an attempt at intercourse between Matt and Krysta Rodriguez, siblings by law, but not by blood. Yeah, it somehow makes it creepier.

And that not-so incestuous connection isn’t the only inappropriate experience to be had. The film mocks out rehabbed addicts, uses a woman’s dying videotape to her son as reason to spend his college money on a $1,700 suit to get laid in, and sees Jacob Davich pretending to enlist in the war effort in Iraq so that Matt will leave his room and go to a strip club. Nothing is held sacred, but while that generally makes things funnier for me, the guise of authenticity somehow renders it all insensitive. Call me a hypocrite—and I’m calling myself one—but for some reason I can find the laugh in a straight fictional comedy yet discover a hidden conscience of morality when it’s displayed as fact. In actuality, that could be the biggest compliment I can give these guys. Their gimmick wrapped itself around my head and made me seriously contemplate the moral ramifications of what was going on. Kudos to them for that, as well as for getting me to laugh hard more than a few times; unfortunately, I have to draw the line there as far as the work having any redeemable qualities besides a pretty cool success story for a bunch of no-name actors who should see dividends on their careers, and a great ‘Old Faithful’ bit at the end.

The actors do deserve credit for putting themselves in not so flattering situations—you’re a true friend when you will shave a buddy’s pubic hair for them on camera—and being unafraid to bare all. Of the four friends, Zack Pearlman definitely has the biggest future ahead of him with a Jonah Hill/Seth Rogen hybrid feel, (so take note Judd Apatow), and Weaver has the mix of innocence and sensuality that can land her some good roles too. And then there is David Jensen’s fantastic turn as Nicole’s father, Savannah Welch’s Becca whose performance needs to speak for itself so as not to ruin a great twist, and real porn star Sunny Leone lending some sage wisdom to a boy who used her visage in behind closed doors stimulation for many years. I also can’t forget John McLeaish’s skivvy Innkeeper who leaves his best lines for the fake end credit sequence thanking the characters in the movie within the movie, before the real white text on black scrolls with full names and occupations.

I sincerely hope The Virginity Hit finds an audience and success for taking a gamble and being victorious. I’m just not sure I’d be one to tell my friends to go see it.

The Virginity Hit 5/10 | ★ ★

[1] Matt Bennett in Columbia Pictures’ comedy “The Virginity Hit.”
[2] Zack Pearlman in Columbia Pictures’ comedy “The Virginity Hit.”
[3] Nicole Weaver stars as Nicole and Matt Bennett stars as Matt.
©2010 Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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