EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN, THE (director/writer: Boaz Davidson; cinematographer: Adam Greenberg; editor: Bruria Davidson; cast: Lawrence Monoson (Gary), Diane Franklin (Karen), Steve Antin (Rick), Joe Rubbo (David), Luisa Moritz (Carmella), Brian Peck (Victor), Sandy Sprung (Mother), Paul Keith (Father), Kimmy Robertson (Rose), Leslie Simms (Mrs. Applebaum), Nancy Brock (Ruby), Tessa Richarde (Brenda), Winifred Freedman (Millie), Gerri Idol (Roxanne); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Menahem Golan/Yoram Globus; MGM Home Entertainment; 1982)|
|"A barely tolerable raunchy formulaic teen
comedy that turns unfashionably serious with a realistic downbeat
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A barely tolerable raunchy
formulaic teen comedy that turns unfashionably serious with a realistic
downbeat ending, that warns the guys to be on their guard against girls
who sleep around. It's a remake of Tel Aviv-born writer-director Boaz Davidson's
("Lemon Popsicle"/"Salsa"/"Hospital Massacre") 1978 Israeli film, Eskimo Limon (from the aka Lemon Popsicle
series). Here he graduates from
sucking on popsicles to trying to mess with a mindless trio of
sex-starved high school boys always on the lookout to score chicks.
The sensitive virgin student
part-time pizza deliveryboy Gary (Lawrence Monoson), the overweight
loudmouth nebbish virgin David (Joe Rubbo) and the slick stud Rick
Antin) are best friends attending the same high school. They're first seen at the mall hitting on
three girls, Brenda (Tessa
Richarde), Millie (Winifred Freedman) and Roxanne (Gerri
Idol). The awkward guys talk
the awkward girls into going with them to Gary's house, promising them
dope and a party. The boys bluff their way through the dope by offering
them Sweet 'n' Low as a substitute for cocaine. Soon, the
unsophisticated girls believing they're high couple off, with Gary
stuck with the ugly duckling. With everyone necking in different rooms,
Gary's proper parents come home and get enraged to find everyone in
various stages of undress.
When Gary first eyeballs
pretty new coed Karen (Diane
Franklin), he falls in love at
first sight. But Karen is taken with Rick, and fixes Gary up with her
unattractive pushy girlfriend Rose (Kimmy Robertson). Rose is willing to take a tumble in bed,
but Gary is not. Gary becomes unbearably jealous when Rick easily
conquers Karen on the football field. When Karen becomes pregnant, Rick
dumps her. Gary comes to the rescue and pays for her abortion and stays
with her till she's feeling better. Thinking that he has now won over
nice guy Gary buys her an expensive locket and plans to give it to her
as a present at her birthday party. But at the party he finds Karen
back together with Rick, kissing in the kitchen, and storms out of the
party crying and supposedly losing his innocence. Before that incident
his virginity to a streetwalker, and without having safe sex he got the
crabs (more like a lecture point than a funny bit).
The '80's bubblegum background music is from the likes of U2, the Cars, the Police, Devo, Commodores, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, and Blondie. The teen antics include a trip to a hooker (Nancy Brock), a gangbang with a hot Latino nymph (Luisa Moritz), locker-room peeping tom activity at the girl's shower through a hole in the wall and a homoerotic measuring contest to see who has the biggest tool, and several other unintersting rites of passage activities.
It only works because the
youthful cast comes up with enough gross-out comedy (lame as that may
be!) and enough touching dramatics (lame as that may be!) to be thought
of as both serious and funny, in a film
that tries to have its cake and eat it. Davidson gives us a somewhat
plausible sense of what teen boys fear most (girls) and how cruel those
years could be if you're as moronic as these teens present themselves.
The pic is seen through the eyes
of its everyman protagonist, Gary, who is popular but can't get laid
with the girl he desires even when he gives it his best shot (so to
speak!). The last American virgin comes to think of himself as a loser
because he can't get laid, which is a shame since he's a loser not
because he can't get laid but because
he's such a schmuck and takes himself so seriously. Many critics consider this as one of the
better teen films of the eighties, even if it's flawed. Well,
when you compare it to other films of the genre that came out in the
eighties like Porky's and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, this one holds
up rather well (all things considered).
REVIEWED ON 3/21/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ