You may have thought that “The Last American Virgin” would be just another movie about randy kids hoping to grow up too fast. If you saw this film in the theaters or on HBO, your opinion was surely changed. Browse these heartfelt positive reviews, then note the price that this hard-to-find video is fetching. People are pining to have this movie released on DVD. It’s because “The Last American Virgin” is the rare Hollywood release that made a deep impact on anyone who watched it. It starts with with the hijinks of three guys in high school who want to get laid: The Nice Guy, The Selfish Romeo, and The Chubby Clown. And there are some big laughs in store. I especially liked the gag where they convince some naive girls that they have cocaine, and try to fool them with Sugar Twin! Some of their antics are downright silly, but it only makes things more interesting, once the serious storyline begins to play out. This happens when a new girl (played by Diane Franklin, who became imbedded in the psyche of the young male of the 80s) moves to town. The Nice Guy falls for her, even as she falls for The Romeo. Even back in 1982, Hollywood endings were all that any moviegoer could expect. What we got in this picture, was nothing but a shock!In the theater where I first saw the movie, the ending got an audible gasp of horror out of the audience. And nothing happened that would gross anyone out… The filmmaker simply let the truth be shown, and after all the frivolity of the film’s first hour, it hit with the impact of an 80-pound anchor dropped from a ten-story window! As The Nice Guy drove off into the night with tears rolling down his face, and as the credits rolled, I remember hearing one girl in the theater call out, “That’s messed up!” What was it about this movie, that made it so troubling, and yet so loved? One reviewer said this movie was the ultimate Guy movie; another said it’s the last movie on Earth to see with a date. But this movie touched gals and guys. Its sudden and stunning dose of reality was a real wake-up call. For me, it was the whole Nice Guy syndrome: I’ve cried those same tears. But this movie has something for anyone who has felt the pain of going about Love all wrong. And I think some people (who had forgotten some of what it was like, to be the Nice One who was made a fool; or the Selfish One who hurt someone innocent; or the Shallow One who threw away a good chance at love) were made to remember, and I think it hurt them and made them uncomfortable in a big way. “The Last American Virgin” was unique for its times: deliriously funny, brutally honest, and, ultimately, very sobering. This well-acted story deserves to be showcased on DVD. And, yes, it has a “killer” soundtrack!
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In the first film class I ever taught I screened “The Last American Virgin” and learned the valuable lesson that showing a movie that inflames viewers is always going to be productive to class discussion. What my students found so offensive was the idea that there were boys in this country that were taking girls to see this film. That was probably a bit far fetched simply because this 1982 film would be one of the worst date movies ever made; watch this film and imagine that you are a sixteen year old girl on a date seeing this film and think about what thoughts about boys in general it inspires.
That is not to say that this film written and directed by Boaz Davidson is not without value. The story starts off as another one of those films where three friends, nice guy Gary (Lawrence Monoson), study Rick (Steve Antin), and fat guy David (Joe Rubbo) are interesting in having sex. Towards this end they pick up some girls with promises of cocaine (it is really Sweet ‘n’ Low), visit an overly amorous woman whose boyfriend comes home early, and finally go to a prostitute who gives them venereal disease. What I found fascinating about this film was what “lessons” it taught its viewers; for example, did you know that “crabs” can be cured by the chlorine in a swimming pool?
But then the film turns out to be about a love triangle. Gary loves Karen (Diane Franklin), pure and chaste from afar. Of course, Karen only has eyes for Rick. That is until she discovers she is pregnant and Rick dumps her. That is when “The Last American Virgin” becomes an unforgettable adolescent horror story and offers one of the most brutal endings you have ever seen in a teenager sex flick. This particular plot line will remind you of one of the plots in “Fast Time at Ridgemont High,” but Davidson is not going for anything remotely like a happy ending, even short term.
My only serious complaint with this film is that the comic excesses of the first two-thirds of the film make the ending seem like a radical shift (although in terms of qualitative form it certainly sets up the ending for ultimate shock value). The ends may well justify the means, but as much as I admire the brutal honesty of the film’s conclusion I still find the transition a bit jarring. “The Last American Virgin” is an unforgettable film in an often forgettable genre of American cinema.
“The Last American Virgin” has to be the best movie ever made. Lawrence Monoson, became “Gary”, and captured the hearts of many. This movie will make you laugh, as well as it will make you cry. This movie brings to life issues of your typical teenager, from sex, to drugs, to yes even abortion. Every boy dreams of the day he loses his virginity…not “Gary”. He just dreams of the beautiful new girl in town. Shhhh, have I said too much, probably not, this movie being 20 yrs. old I can not imagine who hasn’t seen it. If you haven’t you should not waste anymore time…this is the best movie my generation has ever seen.
WOW, I almost forgot to mention the awesome soundtrack this movie has…from “The Commodores – Oh No” to “Blondie” to “The Human League” to “The Cars” and who could ever forget the unforgettable theme song….”Quincy Jones – Just Once”.I hope this review is helpful….enjoy this movie, when I finally got my hands on a very good copy, I watched it repeatedly.