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The title would indicate otherwise. When it was released in 1982 I avoided
it. At that time filmgoers were deluged with nothing but mad slasher films
and teen sex comedies. I wanted nothing to do with it. It didn't last in
theaters long enough for me to think twice. Today, after almost two years
prodding from a very close friend, I watched "The Last American Virgin." My
feelings are extremely mixed but I must admit there are things I haven't
been able to stop thinking about. Most notable is the final 40 minutes of
the film which is such an abrupt switch from the first hour I almost can't
believe the two halves are part of the same film.
The first hour is the story of 3 friends and their repeated attempts to score with the opposite sex. Interestingly, since the title suggests it, the main character is not given any extra attention to lose his virginity then the other two friends who are obviously not virgins. Our main character is a pizza delivery boy who meets a girl and is immediately attracted to her. But as luck would have it she only has eyes for his best friend, the stud of the group.
The first hour is played mostly for laughs as the boys get into scrapes trying to score with the women. A few of the scenes are amusing. They elicit chuckles but no serious laughter. One particular scene where the boys visit an extremely horny woman only to be interrupted by her boyfriend is fun. An earlier scene where the main character's parents arrive home early from a trip is amusing if not overly original.
But then something happens. At about the hour mark the tone of the film changes. An event occurs out of left field that brings our main character and the girl of his dreams together. From then on they share experiences that are very real and anyone could identify with whether they have ever been in the situation or not. Suddenly the attempt at madcap humor is replaced by real events and real emotions and "The Last American Virgin" turns into a very special movie.
Towards the end our main character finally professes his love to the girl in what may be the best scene ever done in this type of movie. It's strong, emotional, and so well acted that everyone out there knows exactly what the characters feel simply by the looks on their faces. It's truly a great scene.
Now let's talk about the ending without giving anything away. In a word it's brilliant. It makes perfect sense. It is totally real. Again it is a scene that anyone that watches it can identify with. When the credits rolled I was stunned. How the director had the guts to end it as he did is a testament to not playing down on his audience. It probably ends the only way it could. Some people will love it and others may hate it. But it's true to life.
I noticed that I used the word 'real' a lot in describing the last half. That's the only way I know how to describe it. The characters come to life in the second half. I am sure many people can identify with these people during the hijinks filled first half as well. But it's that second half when the director really nails his characters. We end up truly caring about some of them and despising others and hoping for a lot of things to happen. But we have feelings for them all. Credit to the writer (also the director). If only he had made a stronger first half with less comedy and more dealings with real life issues and this film would have been a classic.
I haven't yet mentioned the soundtrack. As one might expect it is filled with late 70's and early 80's hits. Journey's "Open Arms" is played to great effect in the scene when the main character finally spills his guts to the woman of his dreams.
I have never seen this film played on cable nor do I recall it being on DVD. I hope the studio has a change of heart one of these days and brings it back into circulation. I think every teenager should see this film. They'll no doubt be highly amused by the silliness of the first half (though the nudity might turn off concerned parents), but then they will experience learned lessons in the second half that, if they have yet to go through, most likely will in one form or another.
So the final verdict is a terrific final 40 minutes is buried in an average at best teen sex film of the first 60 minutes. Oh how I wish the opening had been as wonderful as the closing. There would be no need to hope for this film to be found. It would be as known as "Say Anything" is.
Seek this film out. If you can get passed the nudity issue I think parents and teenagers could watch this together and experience life as it really is. It's not pat and always what we want. Things happen that we can't control and sometimes things work out the way they are supposed to for reasons we can't understand at the time. It's a lesson we all have learned or will learn in life. And when was the last time you could say you learned that from a teen comedy?
I saw this in a theatre back in 1982. I expected a stupid T&A movie.
That's not what I got.
It's basically about three teenage boys trying to have sex. We get the expected sex jokes and scenes--but, for once, they're actually pretty funny!
Yeah, they're stupid but I enjoyed them anyways. Also, there was a surprising amount of male nudity.
Then the movie, about halfway through, takes a sudden dramatic turn as one of the boys (winningly played by Lawrence Monoson) falls in love with a girl. Then the jokes stop and things get very dark. I'm not going to give away what happens but I was very surprised at the sudden turn in events. The movie brings up some very important subjects and treats them realistically and with intelligence. And it has a real heart-breaking ending.
I'm giving this a 10 because this is probably one of the best teen sex comedy/dramas ever made. It mixes fantasy and realism together and works! What more can you ask for? Also it has a GREAT soundtrack.
Perhaps this movie was meant to be nothing but funny. Maybe it was
meant to get teenage boys excited at all the nudity in it. But what I
got out of it was actually something that many people believe in. And
that is, " Nice guys finish last ".
There is a line in Angel Heart from Lisa Bonet's character that says " It takes a bad ass to make a girls heart beat faster. " True. Most likely. Women always say that they want the flowers and the candy and politeness and whatever. But ( at least at an early age ) they end up going for the good looking, slimy, disrespectful, untamed guy. The one they know they can't conform to their beliefs. And that is part of the attraction. After all, what is exciting about a guy that is already the way you want him to be? I believe this may have happened to Boaz Davidson. And what he has to say in this film that is disguised with sex and nudity and parties and everything else that teens can relate to, is that you will get your heart broken. It happens to everyone and it will happen to you. And that is a strong final statement in the film. But having said all that, the movie is fun. It is funny and it shows the antics of highschoolers quite well.
This is a rare film that is sleezy enough to please the teenage crowd it caters to but also intelligent and poignant enough to show what it;s like to get your heart broken. No highschool film has ever done this better. Like I said, I think the writers must have experienced a situation like this first hand. Maybe we all have.
This is an old film, but if you ever come across it gathering dust on a shelf in your local video store one night, pick it up, you may be surprised. It is a hell of a lot better than Never Been Kissed.
When I was in 10th grade me and my buddy were up late at his house and were flipping around cable and started watching this movie. We watched it because it looked kind of funny and because it had boobs. But then the ending came and we just sat there completely speechless. I think after a minute of watching the credits roll he just sort of whimpered "Oh dude....." It goes from dumb 80's teen sex comedy to nihilistic realism so quickly that it catches you off guard. I have been trying to rent this movie for years and have not been able to find it - and nobody has ever seen it except for me and my friend - so it seems. But now it is available! I highly suggest renting it and brace yourself.
I have always liked this film and I'm glad it's available finally on
DVD so more viewers can see what I have been telling them all these
years. Story is about a high school virgin named Gary (Lawrence
Monoson) who works at a pizza place as a delivery boy and he hangs out
with his friends David (Joe Rubbo) and Rick (Steve Antin). Gary notices
Karen (Diane Franklin) who is the new girl in school and one morning he
gives her a ride and by this time he is totally in love. That night at
a party he see's Rick with Karen and now he is jealous of his best
friend but doesn't tell anyone of his true feelings.
Rick asks Gary if he can borrow his Grandmothers vacant home but Gary makes up an excuse so that Rick can't get Karen alone. But one night Rick brags to Gary that he nailed her at the football field and Gary becomes enraged. A few days later in the school library Gary see's Rick and Karen arguing and he asks Karen what is wrong. She tells him that she's pregnant and that Rick has dumped her. Gary helps her by taking her to his Grandmothers home and paying for her abortion. Finally, Gary tells Karen how he really feels about her and she seems receptive to his feelings but later at her birthday party he walks in on Karen and Rick together again. Gary drives off without the girl! This film ends with a much more realistic version of how life really is. No matter how nice you are you don't necessarily get the girl.
This film was directed by Boaz Davidson who would go on to be a pretty competent action film director and he did two things right with this movie. First, he made sure that there was plenty of gratuitous nudity so that this was marketable to the young males that usually go to these films. Secondly, he had the film end with young Gary without Karen and I think the males in the audience can relate to being screwed over no matter how hard you try and win a girls heart. Yes, this film is silly and exploitive but it is funny and sexy. Actress Louisa Moritz almost steals the film as the sexy Carmela. Moritz was always a popular "B" level actress and you might remember her in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest". Like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" this has a very good soundtrack and the songs being played reflect what is going on in the story. But at the heart of this film is two very good performances by Monoson and Franklin. There is nudity required by Franklin but she still conveys the sorrow of a young girl who gets dumped at a crucial time. She's always been a good actress and her natural charm is very evident in this film. But this is still Monoson's story and you can't help but feel for this guy. When the film ends it's his performance that stays with you. It's a solid job of acting that makes this more than just a teen sex comedy. Even with the silly scenarios of teens trying to have sex this film still manages to achieve what it wants. Underrated comedy hits the bullseye.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoilers in this review! Despite a few highly improbable scenes, including the boys in PE measuring their penises in a contest and the few obligatory teens-trying-to-get-laid vignettes, this movie captures the painful essence of high school in ways that few teen films have ever done. It achieves this by not only showing the trio of friends, Gary, Dave, Rick, as smoking, drinking, ever on the prowl teens, but also dwells on the nature of friendship itself as these three friends have their loyalties tested. This film is a snapshot of the time when childhood ends. For the shy romantic Gary, when he sees the lovely Karen for the first time he falls instantly in love. The awakening emotion in Gary is writ large on the screen, and he proves his love for her by taking her in when she is jilted by her lover. This love for Karen signals the end of Gary's innocence, as the bonds with his two best friends will be tested, and broken, over the course of the story. The confident ladies man, Rick, is the person in high school we all secretly wish we were: handsome, cool, and always has the impossibly beautiful girls in a swoon. Rick turns out to be a cad, but you have to bear in mind that his character is only 17 years old. He panics and makes a bad decision. From Rick's perspective, the story is also about finding the one girl of his dreams, a bad breakup, and then at the end reconciling. The look on Rick's face as Gary walks in and sees Karen kissing Rick, shows that he at last understands that his best friend and he love the same woman. As in real life, you don't bow out because your friend has an unrequited love. This is the tragedy of the film. Rick is no villain, and constantly through the film he reminds Gary and Dave that they're his best friends. The soulful quality of Gary's performance, however, is the heart of the story. Lawrence Monoson is a beautiful loser. He does everything right, his heart's in the right place, and he's consumed by love for Karen. Yet, Karen, in the end, is not moved by Gary's devotion and kindness. Karen represents all the people in the world who take in without giving back, who exist in a vacuum of their own ego and never stop to realize the emotional damage and trauma they inflict on others. This film is brutal in its statements on love and friendship, but that's what makes it unique among teen films. It ceases being a comedy and becomes a hopelessly romantic film, albeit one doomed to a tragic conclusion. Anyone who has ever found the girl of his dreams and did not win her, will understand. The heartrending crushes of high school are every bit as real as the emotional strains of adulthood, and this film will remind you of that in bold strokes. Gary's final reversal, as he drives away with the inscribed locket, is as poignant a moment as any in cinema. One feels, after watching this, that it's really made of two movies. The first part is a silly teen sexploitation film, and once the story begins, it's a strongly affecting drama. A terrific movie. It should also be noted that the soundtrack was prescient in its selection of many rising stars including The Police, The Cars, Devo, Oingo Boingo, The Plimsouls, The Waitresses, Gleaming Spires, and Phil Seymour.
What looks like a ho-hum Porky's rip-off turns out to be quite a touching
film about being young and in love.
The story concerns three friends, Gary, Ricky and David, who spend their after school hours looking for sex. When a new girl arrives in town Gary falls head over heels in love with her.
The film goes from being a sleazy sex film to an examination of teenage insecurities. It is funny and sad at the same time. It never completely gives into that love story formula that seems prominent in every movie made. You know the guy meets girl, guy loses girl, guy gets girl back in the final frame formula. That formula is tossed aside after guy meets girl. Maybe that is why I liked the film so much.
The soundtrack is especially good and the ending is a definite tear jerker. It also might be one of the most realistic endings I've ever seen in a love story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of the best and most under rated teen movies ever made.
I saw this growing up and it was, and is one of my favorites, maybe not as popular as "Fast times" but just as great.
There is a serious side to this movie, as mentioned by other reviewers it starts as a comedy and morphs into a drama about halfway through. That's the beauty of it though and what sets it apart. You get it all. Humor(not unlike that of "Fast times" ), Drama, and a GREAT GREAT soundtrack.
I personally think every kid about to enter high school should see this, it would give an idea about the journey their about to embark on. Cmon-what kid watching this, wouldn't be able to relate to SOMEONE in the movie? The fact that it becomes so serious halfway though is also cool and just superbly well done.You don't even see it coming. Definitely a lot of surprises.
SPOILERS:DON'T READ ANYMORE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW.
Great, knee slappping humor.(who could forget the scene between Gary and Camilla?). I can still hear it:"Oh my big strong burrito!!" Priceless!!
Some of the scenes between Gary and Karin are hard to watch(particularly the final scene of coarse). There are SO SO MANY women like Karen out there who would have made the exact same choice she did. Think about it-how many women reject men with hearts of gold(like Gary) for jerks? I know I've done it-and so have many females I know. This movie will inspire discussion and, despite the countless times I've seen it, still leaves me filled with admiration for the film makers and performers. Everyone will find someone to relate to in this movie or what's more likely more then one person.
Lastly, the music used is just great(a lot of Cars, u2,lots of obscure(now) songs from the 80's.-an 80's purist's dream.)
But make no mistake, it is not the music that makes this movie unique, it is the story itself, plain and simple. One of the best of it's kind and a teen movie classic.
I am so glad to see this come out on DVD. I have thought for many years that this is truly an underrated film. It goes beyond the typical teen chasing sex flick and packs an emotional punch. The emotions of the actors seem real and raw and each time I see it, I am transported back 20 years in time to the memories of what the teen years can be like.
This is a very unusual teen sex comedy. One part of of it is the expected T
& A laff riot, but the other half is a surprising sensitive and dead-on
portrayal of teenage life. The movie keeps switching from one of these
viewpoints to the other throughout the movie. In another movie, it would end
up making the movie to be quite a mess. Yet somehow it works.
True, some of the comedy scenes go to the lowest denominator, but there are some wittier scenes here and there. Take the first scene, when the boys invite the girls over to Gary's house. The nervousness and awkwardness between Gary and the fat girl has me in stiches each time - because it's not only funny, but true. Though all the cast members are first-rate, it's Monoson who really steals the movie. As a shy teen looking for true love, his anguish will really break your heart.
I can't leave out the soundtrack. The songs picked for the soundtrack are excellent in so many ways. They are timeless, so they are very listenable even two decades later. Plus, they actually manage to comment on the action going onscreen at the time. I will never forget when the Commodores' "Oh No" plays during that certain sequence.
And I can't leave out the ending - when I first saw the movie, I was simply stunned at what happened at the end. I couldn't believe it at first, then I realized that hey, this kind of thing does happen.
With all the fans this movie has, I am very surprised it has not been re-released on video or DVD. MGM, you now have the rights - what are you waiting for? Though since they are rereleasing a lot of older movies on video and DVD now, maybe - just maybe - we'll be able to get a new copy in each of our hands.
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