“3 high school seniors throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves. As the night progresses, things spiral out of control as word of the party spreads.” – IMDB
So first of all, for some reason I find it important to express that my initial interest in “Project X” was minimal. I fear that someone may misinterpret my character as the kind of guy who thinks fart jokes are funny and adding boobs to a comedy makes it funny. I can only agree with the first portion of afore mentioned comment.
Now that my character has been fairly represented, my interest in this film was specifically in the fact that someone had mentioned it on a podcast, it had something to do with the people from “The Hangover” and other than that I knew nothing about it. A widely released film that has had little received minimal feedback gave me the inkling that this may in fact be a sleeper comedy or a cult film that I would earn cool points for watching during the early days. A comparable film to this explanation, see Grandma’s Boy.
Ok so first of all, why was this movie cool? All I had heard about this film prior to watching it was that there was a party and I think something catches on fire. The piece you’ll miss from the trailer and immediately notice when the film starts is that the entire story is from the perspective of their videographer friend who is a tad creepy but has agreed to document the entire party. So it’s a “docu-drama”. Besides that, it’s an anything goes style film. One friend attempts to throw another friend the best birthday party this town has ever seen. The cool buddy, “Costa” is constantly reminding everyone that he used to have a much better life back in “Queens” which is somehow meant to explain why he is so good at getting shit done in this small town and perhaps why a party of this degree is even possible. Costa is the wildcard and invites chaos into the otherwise normal life of best friend, Thomas.
This one was a bit difficult for me. While the actual content of the film is pretty well organized and to a certain extent believable (which I find difficult for a film as chaotic as “Project X”), I had to dock points for too much skin and swearing. I think it was appropriate to the film and most people won’t mind, but I didn’t handle it to well personally and would have enjoyed a little less sex… in a film about having sex. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one. I don’t love the “p-bomb” (see vagina) and too much sex bores me. However, the rest of the film delivers beautifully, especially near the end. For a while the handheld perspective gives it a horror film vibe so I kept waiting for something epic or unexpected to occur. By the end of the film, I was happily satisfied.
I won’t go too in depth on this one. The characters are high school boys. They know how to do two things. Look for a party. Look for sex at the party. But the actors were great. It never felt like acting. In fact, the whole thing feels very much like a documentary and had it been a little underproduced and cut a little sloppier you could have convinced a handful of people that this was a true story.
The main thing that makes a film enjoyable for me is the wow factor or in some regards the take away. Was there anything cool about this movie that inspired the need to share it with others. Project X fell somewhere in between. For the greater part of this film, it’s a lot like any other underage kids with a party film. You probably spend about 40 minutes just setting up the party and convincing Thomas to hang out with a girl. There’s only so much you can do with character development. So in that sense, the pacing was a little low but the interest was high enough to carry me through to the second half of the film. From there, they drop a few bombs every now and then to keep things interesting and for that I was appreciative.
The interesting thing with a film about a party is that it can only end in a number of ways. When it’s an out of control party, you spend most of the film thinking, “What is it going to take to shut this down? This is unbelievable!” This is a fair question and possibly a distracting one. I had trouble suspending my disbelief a few times, but rest assured this film has an honest ending that helps you head home with a feeling of satisfaction.
Project X was a cool film, but it lacks the appeal I get from some of my favorites. It just hits a somewhat narrow audience and I have a hard time telling friends to see a movie with too much skin and swearing. It was a very satisfying film and I’ve used that word like a thousand times, but I just enjoyed the ending. I left feeling good. But I also left knowing that it would be a tough movie to sell to a broad audience because of the raunchiness of the content. Overall good film, but not my first recommendation when I know there are some better guarantees out there.