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  Last American Virgin, The The Girl Of His Best Friend
Year: 1982
Director: Boaz Davidson
Stars: Lawrence Monoson, Diane Franklin, Steve Antin, Joe Rubbo, Louisa Moritz, Brian Peck, Kimmy Robertson, Tessa Richarde, Winifred Freedman, Gerri Idol
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 4 votes)
Review: High school student Gary (Lawrence Monoson) has a job as a pizza delivery boy, and one night after work he heads over to the local diner to meet his two friends, Rick (Steve Antin) and David (Joe Rubbo). When he gets there, he notices a new girl in town, Karen (Diane Franklin), and asks his friends if they know anything about her. They don't and she wanders away, so the three lads settle for three girls sitting at another table, promising them a party and drugs if they agree to go with them. The party ends up at Gary's house, where Rick and David pair off with the best-looking girls, and Gary is left with the least attractive. Just when all of them are getting somewhere with each other, they're interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Gary's parents...

I say "unexpected", but, of course, it's totally expected as this is an eighties teen sex comedy, where the embarrassment-based laughs come thick and fast. Written by the director Boaz Davidson, and based on an Israeli Lemon Popsicle film, The Last American Virgin is less Animal House than Porky's, but there's a difference between your average teen sex farce and this example: this time, you're supposed to take it all very seriously indeed. Sure, it doesn't look like it'll be grim at the beginning, and in its own episodic way the humorous set-ups are present as in the staples of the genre, but the clues are there.

Those clues are largely in the form of the lovesick Gary's pining for Karen. He concocts an excuse for driving her to school one morning, and is delighted to hear she has no boyfriend. Unfortunately, he's less delighted when his best friend Rick gets to her first, and she ends up as his girlfriend rather than Gary's - there's trouble brewing. But before we get there, we have to endure, sorry, enjoy the supposedly hilarious misadventures of the terrible trio and their attempts to get laid, in time-honoured fashion, all accompanied by too many soft rock hits of the day.

To be fair, they do raise an occasional chuckle, as when they substitute sweetener for the cocaine they don't have, and the girls snort it up with gusto, unawares. Then there's the exchange between Rick and his latest conquest: "I'm not on the pill," she warns, "Neither am I", he admits. However, this will have an unwelcome resonance later on. Meanwhile, we stray into Robin Askwith territory when the boys visit a randy, Spanish housewife for some Confessions style action - the sight of the overweight David shagging a woman old enough to be his mother to the strains of K.C. and the Sunshine Band is none too pretty.

As the title suggests, what Gary goes through is enough to put him off women for life. When he finally does lose his virginity, it's with a coarse prostitute who infects him and his mates with crabs. More and more, the film grows to resemble an "awful warning" education film with the dangers of unsafe sex on the agenda. When Rick sleeps with Karen, there are predictable consequences, but Gary decides to stick by her, as his love is true. He's heading for a fall, but along the way we have had low humour (e.g. a dodgy, homo-erotic dick measuring contest), nudity (even the old hole in the shower-room wall gag) and male bonding that turn into a self-righteous message movie for boys about not trusting girls who sleep around. The supposedly heart-wrenching ending, which adds insult to Gary's emotional injury, is a step too far, and difficult to take seriously. You end up feeling you've been invited to watch The Last American Virgin under false pretences and ended up at a lecture.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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