January 25, 2014

The Last American Virgin

The Last American Virgin (1982) is about 30 minutes of charm and an hour of filler. When the movie began, with an attractive wide shot of Los Angeles, I thought maybe it would be a totally enjoyable experience. And the prologue, in which three horned-up high school boys lure three girls to one of the boys' houses for a little make-out session, was well-staged and amusing. But when the story gets going, you find there isn't much to it. Gary (Lawrence Monoson) is in love from a far (with Diane Franklin), but before he can make a move, his best friend Rick (Steve Antin) snags her. For a while, the hijinks of the adolescent boys are funny, but then the movie gets serious, and sinks like a stone. Diane Franklin's character is pregnant, Rick is the father and unwilling to do the right thing, and Gary steps in to save the day: he'll pay for an abortion and maybe Diane Franklin will fall in love with him, you know, as a thank you. In fact, the movie completely shifts it tone in the last half-hour into a self-serious teen pregnancy drama. You don't see that coming. I guess it's good that movies made for a young audience are trying to address serious topics, but I kept wanting something fluffy, like Valley Girl. And there's a hugely distracting barrage of songs (no actual music score was provided) that is fun at first (Blondie, Devo, The Cars? Amazing bands!) But eventually it becomes a device, as though the movie can only express its feelings via music, because the songs sync up with how we're supposed to feel about each given situation. If a movie relies on music for feeling, you have to wonder if there's nothing authentic or interesting to feel in the first place. With Joe Rubbo, Louisa Moritz, Brian Peck, and Kimmy Robertson. Written and directed by Boaz Davidson.

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