The idea of this movie is simple. Three high school nerds throw the mother of all parties in the hopes of impressing girls and elevating their street cred at school. It’s like John Hughes if he shot an episode of “Girls (& Boys) Go Wild” on a phone camera, or if Jeff Spicoli wrote a screenplay.
“Project X” is another “found footage” film. In this one Costa (Oliver Cooper), an eighteen year old trouble maker, throws a party for his best friend Thomas’s (Thomas Mann) seventeenth birthday. Along with co-conspirators JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) and AV Club cameraman Dax (Dax Flame) they take over Thomas’s house while his parents are away, invite the entire school, put ads on Craigslist and do a radio promo to guarantee a full house. By the end of the greatest night of their lives hearts have been broken, a little person has been stuffed inside an oven, a Playboy Bunny shows up, there’s bestiality and riot police have to be called in.
“Project X” isn’t so much a movie as it is a series of shots of kids bumping and grinding, drinking, skinny dipping and doing whatever else teenagers do. It is every parent’s nightmare, but is it a good movie.
No, not really. But it is occasionally quite funny, even if you are laughing in relief that these idiots don’t live next to you.
Beyond that there is a barely fleshed-out John Hughes-ish theme of outsiders willing to do anything to be accepted, even if it means burning down a neighborhood and alienating their patents. Hughes would have accentuated that aspect of the story, but director Nima Nourizadeh is less interested in subtext and more interested in teen sex.
The result is a moderately entertaining movie–or cautionary tale depending on your point of view–that is more a simple celebration of bad behavior than a meaningful look at the root of the behavior.