Comedy Movies, by Mike Richardson, 06 April 2012

Director: Nima Nourizadeh

Stars: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown

Country: USA

Runtime:

Release Date:

Language: English

Our Ratings: 2/10

You may remember a Yellow Pages ad from years ago where a naughty teen has thrown a wild party the night before and has to “somehow” sort the mess out before his parents return, thankfully with a bit of elbow grease and a swift call to a local French polishers (to sort out the scratched table) his parents will never know about the wild party been happening under their roof less than 24 hours ago. If you’re too young to remember this ad you’re probably well aware that a few years ago there was a spate of parties advertised on Facebook/Craigslist that went from small intimate gatherings to full on furniture breaking, vomit flecked, debauch-athons of epic bacchanalian delights.

Project X

Project X

Whatever your point of reference is, Nima (good score at scrabble, but bad filmmaker) Nourizadeh’s debut film Project X takes that as it’s jumping off point.

The idea that some high school losers (in this case played by Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown) decide to throw the party to end all parties in Thomas’ house whilst his folks are away. The host’s father sets some house rules for while the kids are left alone, which include having no more than five people at their house, not driving his Mercedes, and an absolutely no one is allowed into his office…at this point you should be to guess the three things most likely to happen.

Project X Beer Pong

Project X Beer Pong

The night gets off to a slow start but then, from out of nowhere, thousands of people start to arrive and utter mayhem ensues. The “let’s throw a party and suddenly become popular, at least for one night” narrative, has been done before but Project X mixes in a bit of post-Blair Witch / Cloverfield “found footage” flavour to the film which would be fine except that everything in the party has been shot and left so professionally that the idea that it’s supposed to have been made by a bunch of amateurs, which is constantly at odds with the Hi-Def, expertly shot and produced going ons.
I’d probably forgive this technical issue if the film itself was actually funny or our wannabe heroes remotely likeable.
What’s more his isn’t “the party a every 17-year-old’s actually want”…this is the sort of party a thirtysomething movie executives thinks every 17-year-old boy secretly wants. This uncomfortable adult version of teenage kicks constantly jars, as our young and naive teens keep referring to their female party guests as bitches and hos, sporting neither the maturity to show intelligence or the youthful innocence to excuse such bad behaviour.

Maybe because I’m of the Yellow Pages Advert generation, I felt no affiliation with the hard partyers and instead found myself mentally totting up the cost of all the damage that was being done to the house.

If Project X had gone a different direction and maybe offered more of PG-13 version of a wild party it would have made for perfectly harmless nights entertainment much like Tom Hanks’ 80s classic Bachelor Party, or even Home Alone, but Project X was neither too nice or too nasty to recommend.

Project X Trailer

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