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Teen Party Movie Project X: Obnoxious Or Awesome?

Posted on the 06 March 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Teen party movie Project X: Obnoxious or awesome?

The morning after the night before.

This teen-party movie from the makers of The Hangover follows the familiar storyline of a group of geeky high school kids throwing a party while their parents are out of town in a desperate attempt to gain popularity and get laid. But this party is more extreme than most, attracting vast crowds of rampaging teens who cause phenomenal damage, not to mention locking a dwarf in the oven, and silencing a neighbor who complains about the noise with a Taser gun. Despite all this, our hero gets the girl and becomes a media sensation overnight, even earning the grudging respect of his father, who says: “I didn’t know you had it in you!”

Truth is stranger than fiction. Project X echoes the story of Corey Delaney, a 16-year-old from Melbourne who became a media star after trashing his parents’ house in 2008, having announced his party on MySpace and attracting over 500 revellers. The Guardian‘s David Cox drew the parallel to similar events in Britain: 300 teens crashed a party in Amersham, Bucks in 2005; 15 year old Isobel Jones-Reilly, died from a drugs overdose following a party in Ladbroke Grove, West London in April 2011.

Realistic footage? Project X gains an up-to-the-minute feel from being shot in the ‘recovered-footage’ style popularised in sci-fi and horror films like The Blair Witch Project (1999), which gives the impression that the events have been recorded on the party-goers phones and cameras. Indeed, one of the characters (played by actor Dax Flame) is a video geek, specifically invited to the party to record the action. For The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin, the frequent use of slow motion and underwater photography made this premise rather implausible. However Joshua Rothkopf in Time Out New York found it just “adds to the YouTubeness of it all.”

Girls Gone Wild-style sexism. David Cox in The Guardian condemned the film’s portrayal of women: “The boys refer to their female classmates as ‘hos’ and ‘bitches’ and seek their company only as masturbatory aids. The girls eagerly endorse their own abuse. They’re all good looking, but that may be because the invite included the injunction: ‘Ugly bitches stay home.’”

An early contender for most obnoxious film of 2012? Cath Clarke thought so in Time Out London,commenting that the plot felt like it’s lifted from one of those articles the Daily Mail likes to scare the parents with: ‘Middle-class Kids On The Rampage!’ Robbie Collin’s verdict in The Telegraph was equally negative: “overall, it’s flamboyantly loathsome on every imaginable level, and a great many unimaginable ones besides.”

Fight for your right to party! Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly accused critics who disliked the film offulfilling the role of all those uptight parents in ’50s news reports about the dangers of rock & roll” while Joshua Rothkopf  of Time Out New York  found the “brainless” and “deeply irresponsible … anarchy” of teens with “zero agenda save awesomeness, popularity and getting with that hot, topless girl … thrilling.” In the New York TimesNeil Genzlinger congratulated the makers of Project X  for re-imagining the Beastie Boys mantra for the iPhone generation and demonstrating that, “every 17-year-old is entitled to a drunken, deafening, topless, drug-filled, sex-crazed, property-destroying, life-endangering birthday,” going as far as to say that they deserved a Nobel Prize, and perhaps even less believably, given the huge amount of damage done to property in the film, “pretty enjoyable for parents too.”

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