The low-budget, everyboy comedy The Virginity Hit, about a group of high school horndogs trying to help their buddy lose his virginity, hit select theaters this weekend. (In my hometown Austin, it was playing at just one megaplex at 9:30.) The Will Ferrell/Adam McKay-produced dweebathon is the latest installment to the canon of films about sweaty white boys on a quest to get laid. American Pie, Porky’s, Weird Science, Superbad, Sixteen Candles… The list is long, stuffed with awkward boys and uncomfortable erections and frantic high fives. As in the case of The Virginity Hit, there are always a bevy of unusually attractive girls on the story’s margins. The titular virgin in The Virginity Hit, unknown Matt Bennett, is the recognizably awkward center of his circle of harmless dips*#t friends. Of course his girlfriend is smoking hot, as are all the other girls who inexplicably hang around this pimply crew. In one ridiculous scene the girls don bikinis and smush their boobs against windows at a car wash fundraiser to get porn star Sunny Leone to sleep with Matt. Such generous, comely friends. Come on girls! Don’t you have soccer practice or something? Raise funds for your junior year abroad instead! Male screenwriters are marvelous revisionist thinkers.
So here’s some questions I asked myself in between scenes of bong hits and frat parties. Can anyone out there imagine a similar movie in which a crew of good-natured, dumpy girls obsess unapologetically about sex? Where the object of their desire is not some princess fantasy of first kiss or a prom date or a wedding ring—but rather the uncomplicated thrill of experience. Hollywood, and the culture that it feeds, doesn’t have much of an appetite for regular girls. When the weirdo girls from Dan Clowes’ exquisite graphic novel Ghost World moved to the big screen, they came in the comely package of Scarlett Johannson and Thora Birch. In Juno, lovely Ellen Page was curious one night and decided to have sex with her best friend. And so the story became about the harsh reality one must face when she is dumb and careless enough to eschew birth control. Teen Mom is a now a hit for MTV, and those tired young mothers are now balancing diaper changing with People magazine cover shoots.
In pop culture, girls get pregnant, or slut shamed, or marginalized in stories about sex. (Or they’re like Bella in the Twilight series, sucked into immortality if they’re so hellbent to get it on.) Is this vacuum in the teen sex comedy genre surprising? Of course not. We have different standards for the young men and women in our lives. Girls are expected to wait, boys are encouraged, pressured even to shed their V card fast. Parents chuckle over their sons’ behavior, a father wordlessly pats a condom into his son’s hand before a date. Next door the girl’s father jokes about getting a shot gun. A girl’s honor must be protected, but boys will be boys.
Matt’s college-age adoptive sister in The Virginity Hit has a few lines about her voracious appetite for sex. She’s crass and glib and if I was her mother I’d probably have grounded her throughout much of high school. (That goes double for her ding dong brothers by the way.) But she was sort of a refreshing voice in this familiar circus of male hormones. She just seemed to really dig sex, and she wasn’t pregnant or acting out at an absent father or lacking a circle of female friends. I kinda liked her. Can you imagine a movie with someone like Krysta as the star? Would you be first in line if Tina Fey wrote a movie about her quest as a 24-year-old to lose her virginity?
What do you say PopWatchers? Anybody catch a screening of The Virginity Hit this weekend? How does it fit on the shelf of Losing It movies? Would you want to see a similar movie like this for high school or college girls? If your answer is a shrill “Heavens No!,” are you as equally offended by movies like American Pie?