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Horny teens get a mockumentary in The Virginity Hit

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A decade ago, American Pie and The Blair Witch Project were the surprise hits of summer 1999, and it's only taken 11 years for someone to figure out how to merge their formats of teen sex comedy and mockumentary.

The resulting Will Ferrell/ Adam McKay-produced flick, The Virginity Hit, is a queasy paean to modern youth's obsession with voyeurism that achieves the odd result of being both too sleazy and not sleazy enough.

There comes a time in every young person's life when you realize that watching actors playing teenagers trying to get laid is just going to make you feel old and uncomfortable. The Virginity Hit depicts a cadre of semiprivileged New Orleans teens (the setting plays, at best, a minor role) whose penchant for illicit drinking, drug use and recording every moment of their lives on camera is more or less not worth remarking upon.

The title refers to mind-altering drugs extracted from a topless devil-woman bong by a group of friends each time one loses his cherry. Last in the group is the bespectacled, passive Matt (Matt Bennett from the 'tween TV series Victorious), who's awkwardly planning to consummate his two-year relationship with the way-too-adorable Nicole (Nicole Weaver). Meanwhile, his adopted brother Zack (Zack Pearlman) is filming these major life events for YouTube.

Unfortunately, when information emerges that Nicole has engaged in heavy petting with another guy, a poorly planned revenge scheme results, which leads to even more poorly planned efforts to snap Matt out of the resulting funk. Said plans involve an Internet hookup, shoplifting, a horrific shaving sequence, family issues and a porn star named Sunny Leone, who plays herself.

Again, feeling old.

To the producers' credit, the baby-faced cast seems like real underage teenagers, which lends a certain queasiness to The Virginity Hit. The film was written by co-directors Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko, writers of the recent hit The Last Exorcism, and their conceit of having teens filming themselves having sex is perhaps more than some of us want to see at the multiplex. The film goes out of its way to justify the need for Matt's rebellion and to give him plenty of sympathetic qualities, but taken at face value, there's something inherently troubling about the whole premise.

Or is there? Really, despite its cinéma vérité look, The Virginity Hit could really be any other movie about teens trying to get laid. The film's smart enough to employ the mockumentary format in such a way that you never wonder where the camera's supposed to be, or how they're getting certain intimate footage (unlike that of the alleged straight documentary American Teen), but aside from the aforementioned shaving scene, it doesn't really take advantage of opportunities for naturalistic awkward silences or wordless observations, which Spinal Tap or even TV's The Office use so well.

Very few scenes have a sense of unscripted spontaneity; instead, they play out like a typical sex comedy with more talking to the camera. Occasionally, the filmmakers pull off something quite funny—for example, John McLeaish has a hilarious sequence as an innkeeper who keeps saying the most outrageous things, and who seems like exactly the kind of "character" you'd find in a documentary.

What's most unnerving, perhaps, is that there probably is a substantial segment of the audience who will find this relatable, having grown up in a world where constant filming and near-public deflowering has become a social norm. For them, this could be the greatest teen movie ever. For the rest of us, we'll be squirming in the theater and feeling old.

Related Film

The Virginity Hit

Official Site: www.thevirginityhit.com

Director: Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko

Writer: Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko

Producer: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Peter Principato and Paul Young

Cast: Matt Bennett, Zack Pearlman, Jacob Davich, Justin Kline, Krysta Rodriguez, Nicole Weaver, Harry Zittel, Savannah Welch, Seth Barrish and Tina Parker

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