Quite possibly one of the most influential films of the 2010s, Project X follows the story of some high school losers looking to explode in popularity after throwing the ultimate party. Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Really? One of the most influential films of the decade? It’s just okay, at best.” I understand where you’re coming from. Here’s the thing. I was a freshman in high school when Project X came out. I can not tell you how many people threw “Project X parties” or quite literally tried to replicate what was done on screen. It became some weird teenage fantasy. Not to mention the fact that to this day, I can’t hear Kid Cudi’s The Pursuit of Happiness without thinking of a bunch of high schoolers taking ecstasy.
Let me say that I do not think Project X is a very good movie. It’s nothing but lowbrow humor, nudity, and absurdity from start to finish. However, I’d be lying if I said all of the chaos isn’t at least fun to watch. As Thomas’ birthday party quickly spirals out of control, you can’t help but feel kind of bad for him. Dude just wanted to be a cool kid, and now his parent’s house is literally burning down on national television.
I think the funniest recurring gag in Project X are the two 12 year-olds assigned to work security at the party. From tasing a neighbor in the back of the neck to stop him from calling the cops, to beating a kid with a nightstick for trying to go upstairs, these kids were taking NO shit. Whatsoever. Watching two 12 year olds jump tackle a grown ass man, or listen to them conspire to burn his home down, it just worked so well for me.
I also think there’s something to be said about peer pressure in this movie. As the night went on, Thomas’ party quickly got out of control, and by the time he wanted to stop things and send people home, it was far too late. Nobody could hear him over the car being driven into a pool, or the literal flamethrower roaring in the street. He could have very well called the party off once people started to make their way into the house, but nah. His judgement was clouded by clout and severe horniness. Not to mention his buddy Costa constantly reassuring him that everything would be fine. “Don’t worry, my cousin can fix that,” he would say.
I also wanna give a nod of respect to the filmmakers for not having a super copout ending. In a lot of movies/shows where a kid trashes the home while mom and dad are away, they always miraculously clean and fix everything, down to the smallest details, just before the parents return. It was a cliche I was expecting Project X to fall back on in its third act. Nope. Thomas’ life is ruined by the party, and he even faces criminal charges. But hey! He’s one of the cool kids now! Everybody loves him, who cares if his college savings evaporated before his eyes and he could potentially face jail time?
PS - Miles Teller plays himself in the movie, and explicitly states that he's coming to the party because he hears there will be a lot of high school girls to hook up with. UMMM what!?!