‘Project X’ spices clichés

by Isabella Place

Three outcast friends conspire to throw the biggest party ever. Predictably, things get out of hand very quickly. / Courtesy of Beth Dubber

It’s no secret that “Project X” has every bit of high school shenanigans known to mankind: waiting for the parents to leave town so a massive 17th birthday party can be thrown for main character Thomas Kub, attempting to invite the hottest girls in school to said party, trying to get booze without having an ID, the list goes on.

As the decades progress, such films have shown that although viewers know what’s going to happen, each new film adds spicier ingredients to the clichéd recipe for disaster. And just what did “Project X” cook up? Three nerdy, outcast best friends, check; a big house sans parents, check; a pool, check; drugs, check; persons slightly older than the rest who can provide incessant supplies of booze, check; hot chicks with sex appeal, check; totaling a very expensive car, check; the ultimate goal of the night: to get laid, double check.

The main characters used the same names as the young performers playing them, a rather original take not normally seen in these types of films. In an interview with Alexis Knapp and Kirby Bliss Blanton, who respectively play Alexis and Kirby, they said this film was a gamble for the director and producer.

“They took a big chance on a film like this,” Knapp said, “casting unknowns and doing it documentary style, but we’ve said it a bunch of times, it exceeded our expectations.”

Parts of this production were rather predictable, but the audience won’t complain. Bringing up the fact that part of “Project X” was unscripted. Knapp and Blanton said about 70 percent of the boys’ dialogue was improvised and “that’s why their dynamic works so well on screen,” giving it a genuine feel of camaraderie. Both girls mentioned this also played a role in developing their real off-screen friendships.

One of the funnier scenes in the movie reveals an “Angry Little Person” being stuffed into an oven, only to pop out and start punching people in the crotch. By people, yes, that means girls included. This scene by far got the most laughs and proved to be surprisingly original for a movie of its kind. Now, obviously, homage was paid to the ‘80s, but the ‘90s get a quick shout-out in what looked like an ecstasy-induced rave. Thus, another great scene involving a gnome-turned-piñata really catapulted the movie even further by turning the quiet town of Pasadena into Partyville, USA.

“Project X” was shot documentary-style as an experiment, giving it a more realistic look, but what appears to have taken place in just one night actually took two years to complete. Regardless, both Knapp and Blanton said they really regard the film as similar to others such as “Old School,” “Superbad,” “American Pie” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

Knapp said she admires “the bravery it takes to make a film such as this one,” while her co-actor, Blanton, said she wonders if this will also become a cult classic, perhaps known for its rather “kute” and “kuddly” bear “Kub” “katch” phrases.

The movie trailer definitely showcases what it took to make this film sizzle. But during the fire scenes, although “some of the extras had a hard time breathing, no one was harmed during the making of this film,” Blanton said. Surprisingly, as realistic as the neighborhood seems, it’s actually fake: a closed set. What isn’t fake is the assortment of boob-bouncing and booty-shakin’ presented therein. What’s lacking is actually the explicit depiction of coitus (spoiler alert: it’s only implied). After all, the cast is relatively young and probably trying to make their debuts with as much class as high schoolers of this day and age can.

Rumor has it this film is the equivalent of “The Hangover” for kids, and indeed it is. Moviegoers should expect to laugh with their friends. It’s high school after all, and audience members have all been there, but now they’re just being reminded of it.