Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Last American Virgin - A Forgotten 80's Teen Movie.

The 1980’s produced the best teen movies that the film industry has ever had to offer. There was obviously some really big hits like The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Say Anything, but there is one which just stands out for me; The Last American Virgin. It has some awesome moments, which will make you laugh and enjoy the ride that these three horny teenagers are on. There are some hilarious moments, but there is also some extremely serious moments too. I think this film is forgotten about because it definitely doesn't possess a lot of the same elements that say a John Hughes film does. And a lot of people tend to think that John Hughes was the only guy who made good 1980’s teen movies, and it just isn't true. But it is like any genre of film, you will always have the stand out films that define the genre. The Last American Virgin has a lot of charm and complex issues which are overlooked.

Here is the run down. Three friends, Gary, Rick and Dave, are just your average horny teenagers. All they want is to get laid and to have a good time. Gary is more apprehensive of the three guys because he is the sensitive one; I guess he is looking for true love. And he believes he finds it when he sees Karen for the first time. He initially invites her to this party but she declines for a prior engagement. Turns out this prior engagement is the same party he invited her to. But there is a problem; she has gone to this party with his friend Rick. Obviously Gary is quite confused, upset, annoyed about it and he just finds it more and more, hard to overcome this. Here are the spoilers okay? Rick gets Karen pregnant and then leaves her, so obviously Gary jumps to her aid and helps her and he pays for her abortion. After the abortion he professes his love for her, and she reciprocates. Then it’s her birthday party a few days later and Gary walks in and finds her back with Rick. The film ends with Gary leaving her party and driving away. 

I had to give the spoilers away for this because it is something that needs to be talked about. I really admire the director, Boaz Davidson for going with that ending. We were so used to seeing the nice guy professing his love and he gets the girl and everything is just fine and dandy. But really in a teenage circumstance, when does that ever happen? It was a realistic way to show no matter how much you care for a girl as well as play the ‘superhero’ role, they think they know better and will date the slightly more attractive guy even though he treats her like crap. A lesson which most girls should learn is this, if a guy is willing to be with you through the worst experiences even if you are just friends of if you are dating them, then chances are he’s a good catch. Gary didn't care that he wasn't the one who impregnated her, he just wanted to take away all that pain and make sure she was happy, and he wanted to prove that he could indeed step up to the plate if he was needed. Word on the street is that girls mature earlier than guys, oh I don’t know so much after watching this film. I would say it’s an even playing field. Here is a video of the moment Gary is crushed by Karen when he sees her kissing Rick. 

 It’s really sad to see the film end the way it does, because as soon as he sees her back with Rick he just has this look on his face which just conveys a hell of a lot of emotion. And you know the ignorance he once had about girls has left his brain and heart. He now realises nice guys finish last.   While the character of Karen seemed sweet at first, I am a little annoyed at her complacency. She didn't even really respond to Gary when he said he would help her. She just let him, she didn't really take any of the matter into her hands, and she wasn't independent about it. Yeah I know she is only supposed to be portraying a 17/18 year old but still, show a little backbone and work out what you are going to do, YOU ARE FREAKIN’ PREGNANT! I really don’t mean for that to seem harsh at all, but I really just believe she didn't take any responsibility for her actions. It seems as if she chose not to take any strong responsibility for it because Rick decided not to either.

What was great about this film was that the director totally had the stereotypes of the three guys down pat. You have Gary who is the sensitive one who has a conscience and believes on doing what his heart tells him. Rick is the good looking one of the bunch, more so the leader as well, all he wants is sex. And Dave is the fat guy who has a lot more confidence than he wants to give himself credit for. If you put all three of these ingredients together and mix it up, you will have a fun and quite a realistic approach to how teenagers really are. Obviously they have added scenes in which probably wouldn't happen, but there is a slight possibility that maybe it could happen…I use the term maybe quite loosely here. One of my favourite scenes is when they all decide to have sex with a prostitute and all get crabs, and they think they can ‘drown’ the crabs by standing in a public swimming pool for four hours. I just found that so hilarious, but when you think about it, it’s totally something you would see happen in a 1980’s teen movie. Another great scene is the three guys and their classmates in the locker room measuring their penises. I am not even joking about this. Doesn't just hearing that make you want to watch this? I tried to find a video of this but couldn't, but all I can say it is amazingly funny, especially hearing Devo's 'Whip it' being played at the same time...adds a lot of class to it. 

I think the acting does seem a little bit awkward in this film at times, but that also works in their favour as well. Why? Teenagers are awkward, and a lot of them aren't very sure of themselves, and it is conveyed pretty well in this. It isn't like a lot of teen movies, where the actors are really TRYING to be awkward because that is part of their character. It seems as if these kids in real life were awkward teenagers. I think it is a little bit more authentic in that way. 
I think if you haven't seen this film and you are a fan of 1980's teen movies, you should definitely check it out. It isn't as 'glossy' and 'slick' as a lot of the teen movies from that time, but it is still pretty funny in some scenes and it can be quite realistic in others. I say give this one a chance. I don't think this will ever be as good as Pretty In Pink which is my favourite 1980's teen movie of them all, but this still holds a high ranking in my books. As silly as some of the scenes are, it has depth, and it is well worth the view. 

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