There’s something wrong with kids today. And I don’t mean the ones on the bus turning up music too loud on their mobiles. Because you know that if gramophones had been easier to carry our grandparents would have been whooping it up to Vera Lynn on public transport while stuffing their faces with slice after slice of rough cut Hovis.
I’m talking about the kids we see on screen. The magnified, bastardised, stereotyped child characters that flood the marketplace at the moment. I hate them. And it’s not because of jealousy or a lack of empathy on my part. It’s because they’re fundamentally unlikeable.
Project X is a movie which sums up everything that is damaging and risible about certain portrayals of children (I hesitate to use the word ‘teenagers’ or ‘young adults’) found in contemporary cinema and television.
Basically, if you remember that first advert for Skins from back in 2007, which featured a sort of ‘crazy’ party, Project X is the same concept stretched out for 87 minutes.
A kid’s parents go out of town for the weekend. He hosts a gathering that is advertised on social networking sites and things get out of hand.
This would be fine if there were negative consequences for all of the carnage, but there are none, which robs the film of any tension and earns it an 18 rating in the UK. It essentially promotes home-destroying single mindedness and binging as the only true way to achieve popularity amongst your peers and then suggests that you can actually get away with it.
Now I don’t have an issue with the improbable events of the film, or with parties that go too far for that matter. In the past I’ve failed to respect the sanctity of a stranger’s abode and revelled in the knowledge that I won’t be the one doing the cleaning up. What I dislike is the general attitude of the male kids in Project X. Their world view. Their ethos. Their creed. Their mantra. Their fucking stupid opinions.
It’s all about pussy. And bitches. Pussy and bitches. Or more specifically, the idea that using these words, thinking of women as walking tit racks and explaining this to their faces, will allow you to be successful with the opposite sex.
Imagine, for example, if Jay from The Inbetweeners acted just as he does, but instead of being ridiculed and shunned by girls, he instead became a chick magnet because of his scatological slurs. It wouldn’t be funny, it would just be mean, degrading and demoralising.
The character of Costa in Project X embodies this bizarro-world manifestation of teen misogyny. At the end of the film it is suggested that he has managed to have unprotected sex with three different girls during the party. This is in spite of the fact that he is, to coin a phrase, a fucking dickhead.
The problem here is that this lack of basic humanity is just portrayed as banter. It’s just bants. It’s just a bit of fun. Only a frigid, po-faced dyke would get annoyed at being told to get naked before going in the pool at a party, as happens in the film. Only an unwaxed Feminazi would turn their nose up at relentless ass montages interspersed with up-the-skirt shots for candid bum reveals. It’s all fine. You’ve got to be one of the lads to get by in this world. So show me your tits. And no, you CANNOT see my penis.
Project X will be dismissed and ignored by most people. But the fact that it will doubtlessly make right thinking members of a teenage audience feel uncomfortable, while being unable to process this discomfort due to peer pressure, makes me nervous.
Don’t worry kids! You have every right to be critical, just as those who made Project X have every right to have shat this lowest common denominator movie into existence through their collective ani.