The Virginity Hit -- Film Review

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Essentially the first feature-length YouTube video, "The Virginity Hit" updates the horny-teenager movie to the Internet era. It's not surprising that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are among the film's producers, as the comedy essentially plays like an elongated version of something you might see on their Funny or Die website.

Director-screenwriters Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko are no strangers to the mockumentary format; their credits include the cult film "Mail Order Wife" and screenplay for "The Last Exorcism," in theatrical release.

Inspired by the types of routinely humiliating online videos that probably have scarred innumerable psyches, this relentlessly vulgar comedy revolves around the efforts of a group of teens to help their nebbishy buddy Matt (Matt Bennett) lose his virginity after an ill-fated attempt with his sexually frustrated girlfriend Nicole (Nicole Weaver).

The friends are driven because their video documentation of Matt's failed try -- including his horrendous bout with explosive diarrhea -- inadvertently becomes an Internet sensation.

The chief novelty and conceit is that the story is told entirely through shaky, handheld video footage, giving the proceedings an all-too-familiar "Blair Witch Project" feel.

The results are only partially successful. While younger, electronically weaned audience members no doubt will embrace the stylistic approach, the screenplay lacks the wit necessary to distinguish the film from the countless randy-teenager movies that have preceded it. And one would-be comic high point, depicting an episode of man-on-man testicle grooming, is an exact retread of a similar gag from the recent "She's Out of My League."

Still, the film offers enough raucous laughs to please its target audience, and for once the youthful ensemble cast actually looks and acts like real gawky teens. With the careful handling and astutely targeted marketing, "Virginity" might attain the cult status it so clearly seeks.

Opens Friday, Sept. 10 (Columbia)
Production: Gary Sanchez Prods.
Cast: Matt Bennett, Zack Pearlman, Jacob Davich, Justin Kline, Krysta Rodriguez, Nicole Weaver, Harry Zittel, Savannah Welch
Director-screenwriters: Andrew Gurland, Huck Botko
Producers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Peter Principato, Paul Young
Executive producer: Owen Burke
Director of photography: Luke Geissbuhler
Editor: Geoffrey Richman
Rated R, 86 minutes
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