“Project X ” Portrays the Ultimate Party Without Consequences

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Laura Drinan

“Project X” became a huge hit at the theaters for immature teens the weekend of it’s release on Friday, March 2, 2012. Nobody can say they haven’t thought about how much they could get away with when their parents aren’t home, but “Project X” takes it to a whole new level. The film’s tagline, “The Party You’ve Only Dreamed About”, actually turned out to be a nightmare. Throughout the 88 minute film, its ridiculousness and unrealism are even louder than the 1,500 drunk and drug fueled teenagers at the party. It felt more like watching an hour and a half YouTube video than watching a movie in the cinema. With almost zero characterization and a lacking plot, it’s easy to watch with eyes glazed over. Even so, “Project X” did include a nice soundtrack that was fitting for the content. There were several laughs involved throughout, but it was difficult to make up for the film overall.

The film follows three high school seniors, Thomas, the 17 year old nobody, J.B., the center of all fat jokes, and Costa, the party’s advertiser and lady-killer. The whole movie is supposed to be a documentary of Thomas’s birthday, filmed through the portable camcorder of a comrade named Dax. Thomas’s parents leave for a weekend, but not after his father warns him with a five person limit, no driving the car, and Thomas must answer all of his parents’ phone calls. It isn’t long before Costa begins advertising the party through text messages, word of mouth, and even a page on Craigslist. Thomas spends a majority of his evening with his two friends and romantic interest, a girl named Kirby, and worrying nobody will show up at his party. Almost too conveniently, car loads of people begin to show up right as Costa reassures him that people will come. The party started out in control, Thomas made sure nobody could get into the house, but after only a couple of scenes, crowds fled into the home. Stunned by his sudden popularity and attractiveness by drunk girls, Thomas becomes a push-over and allows almost anything to happen in his house, including more drinking, drugs, sex, and the destruction of his property.

“Project X” was fast paced, just like a real party, and the frequent pans over the crowd reminded the audience how crazy the party got. The booming music was appropriate for the film, and was actually enjoyable. The soundtrack included songs such as, “Tipsy” by J-Kwon, “Candy” by Far East Movement featuring Pitbull, and “Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)” by Kid Cudi. Thankfully, the party’s music didn’t sound like they just started blasting Kiss 108, and it was music that made the viewers want to dance to. Unfortunately, the music was set to montages of promiscuously dressed girls grinding, shots of groups puffing out smoke, and people sticking out their tongues for an ecstasy tablet. The party’s scary reality was grossly mixed in with the playful and mischievous content.

Thomas was shocked to find his dog tied to dozens of balloons and making an “Up” (2009) reference, a gnome stuffed with ecstasy, a small person shoved in the oven, and his father’s car at the bottom of the swimming pool. Towards the end of the film, while Thomas is looking beyond awful, a drug dealer takes his revenge on the party-goers by bringing a flame thrower. This was just the icing on the cake. Police come for the second time (the first being at the beginning of the party where Costa impressively displays his knowledge of the Constitution and they leave) and attempt to disperse the crowds. It’d be a lie to say that despite the absurdity of it, the flame thrower was pretty cool, and there were many entertaining parts.

One of the downsides in the film that made it almost unbearable to watch was the lack of consequences and messages. The movie depicted a 1,500 person party that glamorized underage drinking, illegal drugs, and the complete destruction of a neighborhood, and showed almost no drawbacks in the situation. Thomas’s father was impressed with his son’s party, and it seemed that he didn’t mind his house was burnt down. Thomas mentions that his college fund became inexistent and he’d be in debt for the rest of his life, but it appeared that he didn’t mind when all of his schoolmates applauded him in the hallways and he got back together with his girlfriend. Also, the moral of the story is a young and restless kind of meaning, and one that says, “Feel free to ruin your life for one party – you’re young!”

However, despite the stupidity involved in the film, it was interesting to see how quickly the party progressed. Viewers couldn’t help but wonder, “What if I were there?” For a movie about a giant party, it delivers exactly what one expects.  Hopefully the rumored “Project X 2” won’t be just as pointless.