A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Project X -- a very raunchy comedy about three high school seniors who throw a huge party that spins wildly out of control -- is packed with constant strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and much more), topless teens, sexual situations, graphic sexual innuendo, and excessive teen drinking and drug use (Ecstasy and pot). Punches are thrown, and though there's no actual fighting, the party has an increasing air of danger and violence (a flamethrower appears in the final act). The movie is funny in a shocking way, but parents will be appalled at its message: that a shy teen "needs" a huge party to break out of his shell and become a social success, regardless of the fact that the cost is thousands of dollars in damage.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Thomas (Thomas Mann) is a quiet, shy high school senior living in Pasadena. His parents go out of town for the weekend, leaving him on his own for his birthday. His loudmouth pal, Costa (Oliver J. Cooper), who once lived in Queens, New York, arranges a party to help Thomas out of his shell and meet some girls. Their friend JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), a bespectacled nerd whose exterior belies a suave party animal, helps. Thomas hopes for a small gathering and to keep revelers in the backyard and out of the house, but Costa theorizes that the bigger the party, the more it counts, and before long, thousands of people show up, and the night spins wildly out of control.
Is it any good?
This party truly is out of control -- and, frankly, shockingly funny at times. The all-night-party subgenre has been around for ages, including everything from American Graffiti and Sixteen Candles to Superbad. Though the parties seem to get crazier over the years, these movies almost always focus on young characters learning a lesson or coming of age. Not so in PROJECT X. Here, character is set aside to make room for a much more insane, out-of-control party experience, in which -- no matter how much damage is incurred or how much it costs -- it was worth it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the teen drinking in Project X. What are the real-life consequences of alcohol and drug use? How does that compare to the consequences typically shown in movies?
How does the movie portray teen sex? Is there pressure for kids to have sex at this age? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
What lessons do the characters learn after their party? Do any of them justify the path it took to get there?
- In theaters: March 2, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: June 19, 2012
- Cast: Jonathan Daniel Brown, Oliver J. Cooper, Thomas Mann
- Director: Nima Nourizadeh
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, drugs, drinking, pervasive language, reckless behavior and mayhem - all involving teens
- Last updated: April 23, 2020
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