The Virginity Hit – A Dialogue

Brandi Sperry: The Virginity Hit, a comedy in limited release that hits Seattle today, tells the story of teenager Matt’s (Matt Bennett) quest to lose his virginity. It’s a tried-and-true trope for a reason, as the question of when and where to “do it” for the first time is one we all face. Here, indie filmmakers Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko attempt to put a new perspective on the genre by literally giving it a new perspective: that of Matt’s best friend Zack’s (Zack Pearlman) video camera.

Allen Almachar: Although this is a story that we’ve seen in countless other movies, the fact that it is done in a documentary, shaky cam style of filming puts it in a new and interesting light. Matt’s friends film his trials and tribulations of losing his virginity and post it on YouTube for the world to see. We see his nervousness as he tries to make their night special, his disappointment when he learns of his girlfriend’s (Nicole Weaver) “extra-curricular” activities with a college frat boy, and his quest to ultimately do it with just about anybody, including a random person he meets online, and a busty pornstar.

Brandi: Perhaps it is a new perspective, but I wouldn’t call it interesting. There might still be worthwhile commentary to be done about the ever-increasing amount of our lives that we live and share online, but this isn’t it. Any promise that the approach gives the film is undermined by an apparent need to be “edgy”. At first, it’s refreshing to meet this unpolished crowd of boys, and to hear female characters who are just as comfortable talking on camera about Matt and Nicole’s initial plans for their big night as the male characters are. But that one glimpse of realism is quickly abandoned in favor of deplorable shenanigans. When Matt hears the rumor that Nicole may have fooled around with the college guy (just a rumor at this point), the guys hatch a plan to actually film Matt and Nicole having sex (which was never part of the deal) and to post it online for all the world to see. This is too cruel for me to have any sympathy for Matt going forward.

Allen: You make a lot of good points, which certainly goes to show that the film is not great. But despite all that, I still found the film to be engaging; I wasn’t bored the entire time I was watching it. This is probably as far as I can go in giving the film praise; this is one of those films that borders crossing over in to the “guilty pleasure” zone for me. One of the aspects that I found interesting is that it wasn’t afraid to tackle more serious issues. There are story lines here featuring Matt’s father, who is a recovering alcoholic, and flashbacks of his mother who died of cancer, that add weight to the film that we wouldn’t see in any other sex comedy.

I think the main issue with this film is that it didn’t know what tone it was going for. The history with Matt’s parents and the style of filming would suggest a realistic, coming of age movie, but then you turn around and find Matt going into these over the top sexual escapades that shouldn’t belong in the same film. There is a lot of potential here, and the filmmakers should have stuck with a specific tone and went with it all the way. But instead, they tried to tackle too many things which left it all feeling a little underwhelming. However, again I have to say that I didn’t hate the film. In fact, I would actually give it credit for trying these different things, even if it didn’t completely work out in the end.

Brandi: You are too generous, sir. The scattered tone is a huge problem, yes, but even more problematic is that this comedy is flat-out not funny. Beyond an occasional amusingly indifferent glance from Zack’s dad (Bernard Hocke, perhaps the only actor in this film I’m actively interested in seeing again), there’s nothing observant enough, clever enough, or even wacky enough here to incite any amusement at all. I want to give the movie credit for what it’s attempting and for being an indie production, but when the mess starts this badly at the script level, that’s tough to do.

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Brandi is one of those people who worries about kids these days not appreciating black and white films. She also admires great moments of subtlety, since she has no idea how to be subtle herself.

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