Like any story worth telling, this story is about a girl. Not just any girl, every girl. Or at least the hottest ones that every delusional adolescent male dreamed of impressing or undressing in high school. Project X is the party you always were hoping you would be invited to and the one you always dreamed of throwing. It's about our incessant need to feel accepted and the pains our insecure and awkward selves go through in order to achieve such a lofty goal. It's the one night you'll remember forever, when you couldn't believe their were topless girls in the pool and wondered drunkenly aloud how you survived that insane leap from the roof.
Project X takes you on a found footage journey with three unknown high school students who have little to no impact on the social scene, yet. Costa (Oliver Cooper), a character straight out of The Bronx Tale, is foaming at the mouth for the opportunity to throw a "game-changer" of a birthday party for his unnaturally shy friend Thomas (Thomas Mann) when his parents sneak away for their anniversary. Along with the Fudgie The Whale like JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), Costa takes to word of mouth, email, radio, and Craiglist to ensure the guest list is overflowing with willing and able teenage partygoers.
Director Nima Nourizadeh somehow seemlessly transitions back and forth from what plays like a pulse pounding music video featuring gyrating adolescents engaging in every parents worst nightmare to suprisingly meaningful yet lighthearted character moments. The jokes seem familiar since we've probably seen them before in some past on screen comedic incarnation or another but they hit at the right time and they hit it hard. The party hard mind of Producer Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame almost oozes from the shaky cam footage. It's your fondest teenage memories on steroids as penned by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall.
The visuals are raw as Nourizadeh emerges you right into the sweaty alcohol soaked orgy making you feel just as blissfully disoriented as the party attendees themselves. You smash cut from the main cameraman Dax to the cell phones of partygoers providing a myriad of viewpoints in which to absorb the large amount of visual euphoria. When Thomas, Costa, and JB are standing on the roof looking down on the mass hysteria they somehow managed to orchestrate Thomas asks Costa, "Is this big enough to be cool?" You want it to be bigger and boy does it get there and more.
Although Project X hits you over the head again and again with escalating party mayhem at it's raunchiest, you still route for the characters. I wanted Thomas to score with Alexis, the hottest girl in school. I even hoped there might be something more than friendship brewing with the girl next door Kirby. At it's bare minimum the movie does what it was made to do, it makes you laugh. For 88 minutes you are sitting right smack dab in the middle of complete and utter chaos and loving every minute of it. You may even reminisce a little, about the one that got away, or that night that completely got out of hand. We've all been there, sometimes we just need a little reminder.