Matt Bennett as Matt
Zack Pearlman as Zack
Jacob Davich as Jacob
Justin Kline as Justin
Krysta Rodriguez as Krysta
Nicole Weave as Nicole
Directed by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland
Matt (Matt Bennett) is the last of four friends to lose his virginity. When plans go awry and he breaks up with his girlfriend (Nicole Weaver), the group bands together to get Matt laid for the first time in the most interesting way possible, chronicling every moment on video.
Immediately, there’s refreshing honesty to “The Virginity Hit” that the advertising doesn’t immediately betray. The title itself, as is explained in the first scene, doesn’t refer to a hit YouTube video, but to a ceremonial bong that the group of friends have sworn to smoke just four times – right after each one of them loses their virginity. Part of what’s so great about that is the film’s embrace of the YouTube and Facebook generation as less of commentary on social media itself and, instead, a story that uses modern technology as a way of forwarding the narrative. The kids in the film aren’t shooting YouTube shorts as a means of attaining fame or profiting from their misadventures; They’re filming their lives because they exist in a world where that’s just what you do. This is less a “Borat”/”Jackass” hybrid and more something Ross McElwee’s “American Pie.”
The real win for “The Virginity Hit” is the creation of a comedy hyper-reality that’s as relatable as it is funny. There’s almost a science fiction quality to the level of media saturation until you realize that it’s shockingly close to the world we live in. Our protagonists are never really depicted as something unusual, attempting to capture Matt’s deflowering on film. In fact, they even have a “Man Bites Dog” style run-in with another individual in the midst of their own “film everything” tear.
Beyond the technology, though, we’re very much in the realm of the gross-out farce where “Animal House” parties are the norm and the world is littered with “Napoleon Dynamite” caricatures of middle Americans. Instead of laughing at this world, though, we’re really laughing with it, hitting a deeper drama than most lowbrow (a term I don’t use disparagingly) fare. For what, in other hands, would simply be a string of sketches designed to shock, the creation of a world like familiar is a mighty impressive feat.
Pretty much all-around, the cast clicks, creating a realistic group of friends with some genuine chemistry and the impressively loose delivery of a bunch of young unknowns really sells the story. Whether that credit belongs more to skilled improv or smart cutting doesn’t really matter: these characters are the people you went to high school with and it’s not hard at all to become instantly fond of them onscreen.
Sure, “The Virginity Hit” has its missteps, mostly with an ending that doesn’t quite land the drama it seems to be going for. Still, that’s something that most films of its genre wouldn’t even attempt and it’s honestly hard to be down on a film so devoid of cynicism. In a world with a rapidly-increasing number of “mockumentaries,” “The Virginity Hit” may not be groundbreaking, but it knows what it wants to deliver and it delivers it well.
The Bottom Line:
Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, “The Virginity Hit” may not be quite as laugh-out-loud funny as “The Other Guys,” but as a stylized coming of age story, it has a lot to offer. A bizarrely balanced hybrid of raunchy sex comedy and wholesome relationship drama, “Virginity Hit” scores.