Project X | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Project X

A teen-age party out of bounds is the subject of this raucous comedy


Three nobodies in high school decide to throw an epic party to boost their reputations, in Nima Nourizadeh's raucous comedy. The trio is familiar: Thomas (Thomas Mann), the sweet nerd a la Michael Cera; Costa (Oliver Cooper), the brash blowhard; and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), the chubby, bespectacled guy. Likewise the first hour is what you'd expect, and have seen plenty of times before: It establishes what noobs these three are; lays out the party-planning; and documents the growth of a pretty crazy party. 

For entertainment, we get non-stop profanity, tits-and-ass, a few comic assaults (many to the genital area) and some minor vandalism. But just when you figure the fun has got to stop, and various lessons must be doled out, the film takes a zig instead of a zag. Simply, the party GETS EVEN BIGGER! AND CRAZIER! And nobody cares. Whooo!

It's a balls-out tack that delivers a far more exhilarating final reel than a bunch of pimply kids sobering up after something goes (inevitably) very wrong. It doesn't save this film from being the same kids-throw-a-party film — the jokes aren't any better — but there's some freshness in driving the car off the cliff, if only for the breathless free fall.

My second thought was: This film would make excellent fodder for those convinced our culture is swirling down the toilet, and that the entertainment business is to blame. Project X gleefully depicts non-stop bad behavior by privileged and self-entitled teen-agers. Binge drinking, drugging, casual sex, property destruction, assorted assholery — whatever, dude! Wheee! And who is surprised that when the party is over, the parents clean up the mess. Starts Fri., March 2.

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