If the picture of America’s adolescents in “The Virginity Hit” is anywhere near accurate, the country is in deep trouble. The teens at the center of this Internet-influenced movie are as repulsive and stupid a bunch as you’d ever want to encounter. And the adults are as horrible as they are.
The movie might have been titled “The 16-Year Old Virgin,” since it mimics the Judd Apatow-Steve Carell picture but for the ages. Matt (Matt Bennett) is a geeky fellow who’s finally planning to “do it” with his girlfriend Nicole (Nicole Weaver) after two years of hemming and hawing. But before the event, Matt finds out via rumor that Nicole “cheated” on him with a college guy (Harry Zittel). Matt’s crass “brother” Zack (Zack Pearlman), a slovenly and intensely obnoxious videographer, presses the schlub to go forward anyway, intending to record the encounter and post it on YouTube (as he does everything else) to get back at Nicole. But Matt can’t go through with it, leaving him a virgin.
So Zack and their buddies go into action to get Matt laid. By posting the couple’s breakup videos, they find an older woman, Becca (Savannah Welch) who offers to have sex with the poor unfulfilled guy. But it turns out that the Internet is a two-edged sword, and Matt’s evening with Becca has unintended consequences.
Most of what happens in “The Virginity Hit”—the title refers to the gang’s practice of treating one another to a celebratory hit on a bong after they have sex for the first time—is crass and vulgar, of course. It’s supposed to be funny, too, but it isn’t—the dialogue is lame (it sounds as though these bozos are actually improvising a lot of it, and the actors couldn’t carry what pass for the jokes in a handbasket. What sets it apart from earlier infantile movies about adolescent boys trying to score is its style—the whole awful thing is shot in jumpy video of the sort that most YouTube postings exhibit. That may appeal to the younger audience that feeds on YouTube and similar sites, but it’s mostly headache-inducing.
It also appeals shamelessly to our sympathy for Matt by providing him with a backstory that reeks of the worst soap opera. (His mother, dying of cancer, entrusted him to Zack’s mother, and his birth father is a self-absorbed alcoholic.) Writer-directors Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland try to use this to add some emotional heft to the character, but they fail miserably.
So “The Virginity Hit” has it all—or, rather, lacks it all. It’s terribly written, badly acted, barely directed and dreadfully shot. It makes a movie like “Superbad,” which was also about misfit high schoolers looking to score, seem like Shakespeare. Among its producers are Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who founded the online site Funny or Die. In this case, their movie is DOA.