Monday, March 5th, 2012

'Project X': Why Doesn't Hollywood Get Young People?

You've got to really open your heart to the long hard run of cruddy movies that stretches from January to May. If you succeed in opening it far enough, you'll decide that Project X, the pre-frat frat movie about three high school losers throwing an "epic" (shudder) party, is nearly awesome—as a movie-going experience, at least. You know: low expectations. Oh and this is actually the entire plot so I am kind of spoiling it for you: a kid's parents go out of town and he throws a really big party. Still, if you see it in the right frame of mind, with the right audience (a packed theater of 20-year-old boys mainlining Coke and nachos), you can laugh your face off. It's funny! We should all live a little. Let's get crunk and trash things! Is that not a message we can all get behind?

But what's really confusing about the movie is how out of touch it is with The Kids Today. For a film that's supposed to be a generational touchstone, a Revenge of the Nerds for 2012, it's totally behind the times. The fact that the kids in it keep saying "epic" should be warning enough. Also, that the main character is singing a 2 Live Crew from 1989 in the beginning of the movie? Uh, no. These kids weren't born yet in 1989?

Especially for a film directed by an Iranian Brit, who's supposed to have done "hip" commercials and videos, it's crazy retrograde. I expect the word "faggot" to get tossed around a lot in a film that's about three straight guys trying to get laid, but in 2012 we never get a shot of, say, the gay dudes from the high school throwing down at the party? (Despite lingering girl-on-girl softcore tributes even!) Kids today, they like to say "faggot" and they like having homos at their party. And then it all takes place in Los Angeles county, but there's barely a Mexican to be seen? Come on. Also I expect straight guys to talk about "pussy" a lot, but I also expect the girls to beat them down for it. Instead there's a bunch of Mean Girls chicks strutting around and ripping off their tops in the pool. As if!

And then: the soundtrack features like, Kid Cudi songs from two years ago? A (very good) remix of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song from summer of 2009? A J-Kwon song from… 2004??? Also the highlight of the party is that they all do ecstasy? LOL, it is not the 90s. That's not awesome, that's just tired. Considering the movie totally pays tribute to Australian party animal Corey Delaney, I guess it makes since that this hot Hollywood mess is years behind.

While half this garbage is funny, at least, the youths of our time deserve a sleazy, gross-out party movie that represents them, not this old man baloney. The kids deserve better.

30 Comments / Post A Comment

If we're gonna Be Real Scott Pilgrim VS The World is probably the movie that came closest to accurately representing my generation.

Daniel Could've (#22,066)

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Totally.

Bobby Womack (#4,074)


LOVED that movie, and was sad that it bombed in theaters. I wouldn't call myself a Michael Cera fan (who would?), but I don't hate him either, and I thought his standard shtick fit the character he played. Also, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza? Yes, please.

keisertroll (#1,117)

My generation will be best represented by the upcoming Red Dawn remake. I was born in 1984.

SeanP (#4,058)

@keisertroll Damn, I'm old. I was in college in 1984. Doing things like watching Red Dawn with my very short-haired buddies and actually thinking it was a good movie.

areaderwrites (#592)

Generation Jones/New Lost Gen/late boomers etc. had to wait about 12-to-15 years after the fact for the good movie about them (okay, about us). 'Dazed and Confused' came out in 93.

Fearlessleeder (#2,618)

Cracked wrote something about why Hollywood never gets depictions of work places right, they said it's because Hollywood is insular and therefore can only depict things in relation to their work or life setups.

I think the same thing goes here. Either most of the people producing movies in Hollywood are either people without kids and don't really interact with them, or aren't really doing the heavy lifting of raising their own kids and interact with them more as acquaintances, so they don't really know today's kids and just think they're all living lives like the children of industry people.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Paging Lena Dunham!

roboloki (#1,724)

why doesn't hollywood get young people?

jfruh (#713)

I liked this movie better when it was about Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt saving chimpanzees.

saythatscool (#101)

@jfruh Apple

iantenna (#5,160)

@jfruh i'm so old and out of touch that, when driving by the movie theater this weekend, i exclaimed to my wife "holy shit, they remade the ferris bueller monkey movie?!?!" further proving my decline into old age, by the time we got home i completely forgot to check if that was true or not. then i took a nap.

Mr. B (#10,093)

Except it seems that whatever Hollywood tosses out there can become a touchstone no matter how crappy it is, because kids be impressionable. Does anyone remember "Can't Hardly Wait," that Jennifer Love Hewitt vehicle from 1998? I was 19-ish when I saw it, on a date (I KNOW), and forgot it within a week, because it was terrible, but not terrible in a way that makes you care about its badness. But now in the 2010s I regularly hear people a few crucial years younger than me speak of it as though it's some timeless Seth Green classic. Such conversations inject me with an indefatigable ennui.

Bobby Womack (#4,074)

@Mr. B

It looks like I'm five years younger than you, and that movie still sucked. The thing to remember is that everyone has terrible taste except for you, and in this instance, me. Although Seth Green was ahead of the curve with those goggles; I hear they're a hit at Burning Man.

Amasa Amos (#9,654)

@Mr. B thank you for that excellent oxymoron.

Mr. B (#10,093)

@Amasa Amos It's my second-favorite form of wordplay, after scatological puns.

So basically it's Go 2: Gone.

brianvan (#149)

@Maura Johnston

I love you, but don't be talking shit about Go, now.

(It was just a little more than people doing E, ya know)

keisertroll (#1,117)

You know what teen movies need more of these days? Abortion subplots.

lempha (#581)

I wonder if the kids really even want their own experience reflected back at them? "If only it were more verite" is not something I think about The Great High School Parties Of Cinema.

brent_cox (#40)

Also: how would they have heard about Monty Python?

sigerson (#179)

I think that there is no single touchstone cultural event (movie, song, artist, whatever) in today's multi-polar, atomized cultural landscape.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@sigerson … and I feel fine.

deepomega (#1,720)

@sigerson The Monoculture is a myth, buddy! (E.g. what felt like a cultural touchstone 30 years ago was just either a. the insularity of the culture of those talking about it or b. a manufactured media event!)

City_Dater (#2,500)

Isn't it some kind of rule that teen movies are made by people too old to know what teens are like and then watched by those too young to know what teens are like?

@City_Dater Especially the second part. If we went by movies that came out when one was in high school I'd be in the Encino Man generation. But I'm not. We were still guided by John Hughes movies then even though we weren't in HS when we saw them.

LondonLee (#922)

I went to high school in the 1970s which I guess makes me the American Graffiti generation.

SeanP (#4,058)

"Still, if you see it in the right frame of mind, with the right audience (a packed theater of 20-year-old boys mainlining Coke and nachosstoned), you can laugh your face off."

Fixed that for you.

James Olbermann (#223,782)

No one can really have an opinion until we find out which Smash Mouth song is in there

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