Yes, these four words can pretty much sum up what director Nima Nourizadeh took 88 minutes to portray. His message was simple: once unpopular teens throw a party or do something socially accepted by the popular kids, they "fit in" and are cool.
One review stated, "Project X is what happens when The Hangover and Superbad have a baby." Considering, the beginning of Superbad consisted of two guys that are close friends, one social teen who only cares about getting with girls (Jonah Hill) one taller, awkward kid (Michael Cera) along with a really funny guy that gets picked on the whole time and essentially just tags along (McLovin).
Project X's main characters resemble this description to the very detail. As for The Hangover? Although The Hangover, the original and sequel never show their scandalous activity in the present tense, the post party of Project X mirrors the 87% of the Hangover Movies. Tons of eye make up, ripped shirts and feelings of hopelessness regarding their situation: "something every teenager needs to experience:" their message.
But what makes this party different or more dangerous than any keg stand get-together in Animal House? The drugs are no different. The beer is no different. However, the way that people hear about parties has completely changed. Throw out the flyers, as word of mouth is no longer the most effective way to get the word out. Hello Facebook, Twitter, mass texts followed by forwarded mass texts, and as Olive Cooper, (Costa) clearly shows, Craigslist is the way to get 1,500 people at a party. In some cases, kids are smarter nowadays. Like the movie shows, when the police ask to go in your house, tell them you want to see their judge-issued search warrant, thank you Law & Order SVU.
One might even ask, "Why are parties such a big deal?" "Why is this the way to feel accepted?" The same common ground that unites people in sports, unites teenagers in binge drinking. Rooting for the team whether its taking shots in basketball or taking shots in the star basketball player's kitchen. Getting drunk enough for things not to be awkward is a win and everybody is pulling for you. Team binge drinking will always make a substitute for team sober as the first quarter comes to a close and then the real games begin: pool parties, dubstep, joints and naked girls (three boobs), followed by throwing up on various cars and other instances that the producer wants every teenager to think about before starting their own "projects" in their backyard on Friday nights, because after all, the folks don't come til Sunday.
Before their official release on March 2nd, the movie asked teens to see what they got. To try to top "the greatest party ever." To become legends. To be known. To walk down the halls and be noticed. To get the girl. For some stoner to look at you and say, "Dude, sick party mannn." To be popular. But what is the message of this film? To throw the greatest party but try not to get caught? As teenagers, we feel that we are invincible, and yes, we are. We have the responsibility of children and most of the privileges and freedoms of adults. Last year, Wiz Khalifa single handedly justified substance abuse amongst teenagers with the lyrics:
So what we get drunk
So what we smoke weed
We're just having fun
We don't care who sees
So what we go out
That's how its supposed to be
Living young and wild and free
Is this how its supposed to be? Can we still be successful and do drugs in our thirties, how about our forties without being labeled a drug addict. "We're just having fun." "We're just living young , wild and free!" Where is the line drawn? Do we start drinking beer only while watching professional sporting events and drink wine at dinner parties in tucked in dress shirts?
After walking out of the theater, I looked at my friend with a nervous look and he caught my eyes and asked what was wrong. I asked him if we had gotten in trouble. I felt guilty for trashing my neighborhood, ruining my house, and drowning my dad's beloved Mercedes.
As human beings, it is hard for us to watch a suspenseful movie that grabs are interest and not put ourselves in the position of the main character. We bite our fingernails during scary movies and 14 year old girls will always imagine Mr. Right during chick flicks. Movies are experiences that we are glad that have never happen to us, or in some cases, can only dream of happening to us. As the movie poster clearly states, "Project X: The party you've only dreamed about."
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