– The Last American Virgin is the movie for the weekend. In this section every Saturday or Sunday Celluloid Dimension picks a movie for the weekend. The selections are preferably underrated movies or neglected movies that we think should get more attention. Have fun with these recommendations. –
The Last American Virgin (1982) Directed by Boaz Davidson
The tonal dichotomy of this sizzling teen comedy is maddeningly volatile, but daring, nonetheless. Lawrence Monoson plays Gary, a teenage student who works as a pizza delivery boy; in his spare time, he goes in search of girls to have sex with. In his horny adventures he is accompanied by his two best friends, the group’s hunk Rick (Steve Antin) and the archetypically funny chubby guy David (Joe Rubbo). But Gary has a huge problem, he’s in love with the new girl in town, the virginal Karen (Diane Franklin) who is in love with Rick. A large percentage of the film is devoted to superfluous sections of smutty programmatic silliness, yet there is a small portion of the narrative that turns out to be a merciless demystification of the American teen comedy, a downbeat anti-romance that refutes the breezy glorification of youthful ideals exhibited in the initial segments replete with shameless nudity and far-fetched romanticism.
It feels like a great movie but is truncated by its populism and by demagoguing the vulgarity of the popular teen genre. Israeli director Boaz Davidson knows with perfect intuition what he is orchestrating in every frame of this film, and yet he allows himself to be influenced too much by the stereotypical methods of an Americanized remake. My problem with the film is that it cheats by disguising itself as something banal and then surprises us with its earnest, veristic face. When you realize the abrupt change in plot, the unilateral perspective begins to touch on so many multidimensional issues and questions that you feel you are watching another movie diametrically opposed to what was initially established. It’s undoubtedly a bold move, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say that its ferociously depressing ending makes it an idiosyncratic genre classic per se, but it does make it one of the most courageous in that domain. The emotional punch it leaves you with is so impactful that you question the aims as well as admire them. Cruel as hell, but honest as reality.