by Susanna Jones
Teen comedy…it’s just all too familiar. So when unoriginality becomes a tedious bore, it’s time to recycle what has seemingly worked in the past and blow it up! Presenting Project X: an exercise in regurgitating plot lines, characters, cinematic tools, and bad gags, ultimately climaxing in such a ludicrous and over the top way, it can only come to a disappointing and flaccid end. And it all begins with a predictable premise.
It’s geeky teenager Thomas Mann’s birthday and conveniently his parents are leaving for the weekend. He has the house to himself. So Thomas’s equally geeky best friends Costa and J.B., decide he should throw a party. This is their perfect opportunity to finally prove to their small high school community that they too can be cool and popular despite their average looks, intellect, and style. But after hundreds of people show up to the party (most of whom are inexplicably good looking and sexy) everything gets out of control. The drinking is excessive, the drugs are abundant, sex is prolific, the music is classic suburban hip, the crowd is loud, and the women are topless and of course well endowed and tanned. As the evening starts to peak, windows and chandeliers are broken, the housedog is high, and the crowds have emerged from the backyard and now occupy the entire street. It all comes to a chaotic climax when the local news helicopter and riot police arrive but can’t slow the epic fun down. It’s the best party you never went to with all the cool people you never knew and with all the sexiness you don’t have… and never will.
But your inadequacies and the predictable premise aside, Project X is simply 80% tasteless fodder. Most scenes which exemplify the ambience are various slow motion shots of women’s bottoms shaking, women kissing other women, people doing shots, and shots of topless women jumping into the pool… in slow motion. This is accompanied by a series of bad or tasteless gags. The worst of which is a scene involving a midget who has not only mysteriously appeared at the party, but who is thrown into an oven. After an aided escape, he crotch-punches people on his way out. The film is not a movie but rather a series of rather stupid jokes, meaningless shots of excess, rolled into a boyish teenage fantasy.
We’ve seen this all before. We know these bland characters, we’ve heard these shitty jokes, and we’re tired of this recycled plot. Project X may be a bit more extreme, but it’s no different from any other contrived notion of teenage angst. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.