DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
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 ending."

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 (Steve 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 Karen, 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 Gary lost 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

http://www.sover.net/~ozus/index.htm