on May 13, 2003
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!
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.
on September 5, 2002
"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.
on April 12, 2006
Lawrence Monoson (Gary), Steve Antin (Rick), and Diane Franklin (Karen) star in this poignant yet funny movie about two guys who fall in love with the same girl. Karen has just moved to town a short time ago, and almost immediately, Gary falls for her. However, Gary's best friend Rick has also fallen for her. However, life still goes on for Rick, Gary, and David (Joe Rubbo). As typical teenage boys, they are concerned with only one thing; getting laid.
They try their luck with three gils they met at a local restaurant, only to have Gary's parents come home just when things were starting to get interesting. Next, they discover an older woman (Louisa Martinez), who really enjoys sex, but her boyfriend arrives home unexpectedly. Finally, they end up going to a local hooker, but they all catch crabs from her, and are forced to spend hours in the local pool trying to drown them.
Despite all of the different escapades, the story still revolves around Rick, Gary, and Karen. Karen and Rick finally have sex, much to Gary's surprise and anguish. Karen learns that she's pregnant and once she tells Rick, he immediately dumps her, saying he no longer loves her. Gary comes to her rescue, offering to pay for her abortion by selling his stereo and using his own money. The two become close and Gary seems to think that they're a couple now. But what will happen in the end? Will Gary and Karen stay together or will Rick come back?
This is one of my favorite movies. I've seen it many times on late-night television, and I was glad to find it on DVD. The story is excellent and the soundtrack, which includes such great 80's groups as Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Devo, makes the movie that much better. I give this movie my highest recommendation. The soundtrack will keep you singing along to all those great 80's songs and the story will keep your attention throughout.
on December 19, 2005
I was 12yo this movie came out, me and my older brother went to theater to see this movie...ahh man is soo funny,real good acting with great sound track. But with VERY VERY sad ending,did drop a few tears in end of the movie.I am sooooo happy this movie came to DVD & bought it real quick!!,Put me back in those great days and memories I had when was a kid and in high school...GREAT MOVIE WITH GREAT SOUND TRACK!
"Is one of the 80s classic masterpiece"
DON'T MISS THIS MOVIE FOR SURE IF U GREW UP IN 80S. A++
on April 2, 2003
I've searched long and hard for a copy of this video for one reason - it is one of the best movies ever made. Teen angst, humor, the ramifications of teenage sex, friendship, betrayal, and above all else, love. Plus it boasts the greatest soundtrack ever compiled. From "Keep On Loving You" to "I Know What Boys Like" to the tearjerker "Oh No", you can't help but love it. Who didn't shed a tear when Lawrence Monoson, who did a superb job as the lead character "Gary",... well I won't give it away for the one or two individuals who have not yet seen this great movie. I've watched this movie at best a hundred times! And it makes me feel good every time I watch it. We've all been there, and I think that it's a movie that our youth should be watching today - wait to lose your virginity, no matter what the cost. I suggest everyone have a copy of this in their video collection.
on September 25, 2001
Okay, you see the title -- The Last American Virgin. Then you see the stars -- names not known for doing quality work (with the exception, perhaps of Steve Antin). The topper -- this is a Cannon film! Though no longer active, Cannon was perhaps the leading schlock studio of the '80s. The Cannon imprint can usually be relied on as an imprint of subpar quality. Therefore, this can't be one of those most honest and revealing portraits of adolescence ever made, can it? Somehow, it is.
The plot is familiar. Lawrence Monoson (a talented actor who unfortunately, looks like an actual human being as opposed to a magazine cover and has never had the career he deserves) is an awkward teenager who spends most of his film, along with the standard fat friend and the standard slick friend, trying to find someone -- anyone! -- to deflower him. And while he finds himself confronted with a motely crew of comical possibilities (a nympho with a crazed husband, a disturbingly vulgar hooker that is quite a depature from the usual Hollywood presentation of streetwalkers), he develops a painfully unrequited crush on Diane Franklin (one of my favorite actresses from the '80s who seems to have disappeared) while Franklin has eyes only for Antin. Eventually, all friendships are tested, Monoson proves himself to be a good human being if not a stud, and the film wraps up with a bittersweet, unexpected, but all too logical conclusion that will leave more than one viewer with tears in his eyes. Its that type of movie, despite all appearances to the contrary.
The film works because the script, while playing up the stereotypes associated with teen movies, is also filled with perceptive, true-to-life details that brings an edge of reality to the hi-jinks on screen. Sometimes, the film admits, things don't work out the way they should. Its a heartbreaking realization but it will also bring a strange sort of comfort to anyone watching. We've all been through the emotions shown in this film and there's something comforting in the realization.
Which shouldn't make you think this film is some sort of low budget therapy session. Its also a very funny comedy. Most importantly, its one of the best acted teen ensemble films I've ever seen. You believed all of these characters and, even with a vainly shallow character like Antin, you don't dislike them. They're all human.
As well, this movie has one of the best soundtracks of the early '80s -- something that even people who dislike the film seem to agree on. My personal favorite musical moment is U2 singing "I will follow..." while Monoson desperately tries to raise some money. Its a powerful, poignant moment. (I've also read that this was the first use of U2's music on a film soundtrack though I can't guarantee that truth of that statement.)
In the end, a film that everyone should take a chance on.
on July 13, 2004
I usually write long reviews on this site on movies that i've seen that were good or bad, but i really don't have much to say about this movie except to say that it's THE BEST DAMN 80'S TEEN MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN...and for that price, you gotta see it too!
If you are a teen or were one, you'll relate to this movie, it'll make you smile, laugh, dance, feel good and cry. Rarely does a movie play with your emotions as this one will.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE FOR EVERYONE, ONCE YOU SEE IT, YOU'LL UNDERSTAND WHY I AND ALL THE OTHER REVIEWERS HAVE SUCH HIGH PRAISES FOR THIS FILM!
on August 11, 2009
The first time I saw this movie man i was pissed at the ending. This movie truly tells the real life story of why nice guys finish last. Most american girls don't want a regular guy that bends to their every need, they want a goodlookin stud who only comes around to drill their brains out & then take off. So this kid Gary & his buddies are virgins. Gary meets this new girl at school and immediately developes a crush on her, the new girl has a crush on the school stud who is one of Gary's friends. Here's the reality, even though the girl knows the guys a stud & will do her wrong, she still feels compelled to give herself to him so that he'll like her. Man i've seen this happen in real life a thousand times. So anyway, the stud knocks the precious new girl up & leaves her in the corner crying & alone. Then here comes superidiot to the rescue. Gary skips a class trip he was going to attend & then damn near sells everything in his bedroom to raise money for Karen's (the precious new girl Diane Franklin) abortion, he then nurses her back to health while everyone else including the stud are off having a blast on the class trip. And oh yeah, the stud has different girls the whole time as well. I figured at this point, Karen would've felt obligated to at least give Gary a HandJ or sumfin. So you figure after basically cutting off one of his arms, Gary has done the life altering deed required for a regular joe-blow to claim the heart of a beautiful girl such as Diane Franklin but no, there will be no happy ending. He comes to the class trip after party & catches a muddy boot to the face with no reacharound by Karen who is once again in the arms of Mr. Wonderful who I think then thanks Gary for paying for the abortion because now he can get back to drilling. Gary meanwhile gets in his car and drives to the city convention center in tears where the town Mayor & other residents are waiting to present him with the loser of the century award, THE END!
on September 3, 2003
I remember seeing this on cable back in the mid eighties, and decided to pick it up. This movie is pretty reminiscence of 80's teen sex comedies, except it has a little more substance, and a lot more heart.
The movie follows three high school friends, the good looking yet morally vacant girl magnet, the average guy, and the fat guy and their various exploits in trying to get laid. That's how the movie starts, but goes off in a different direction later on. Gary, the average guy, falls for the pretty new girl in school, but she only has eyes for Rick, the good-looking guy of the group. Rick, being who he is, takes advantage of this affection to get what he wants. The serious subject matter at the end of the movie conflicted with the lighthearted nature presented at the beginning, but it worked for me. I liked how David, the fat kid, wasn't portrayed as a doofus but as one of the guys who just happened to be fat. He seemed to get as much action as the others, despite the fact that he was not as appealing as his friends.
The characters felt realistic, as I knew people like these three guys in high school, and I think everyone could relate to what Gary was going through, having such affections for someone and not having those affections reciprocated. I really liked how the movie ended, as it was really touching. The music also fit really well in with some of the scenes, although some of it seemed a little too obvious for the scene. I noticed some of the songs got used more than once, but I let that slide.
A lot of comparisons between this movie and Fast Times at Ridgemont High can be made. I think the pacing of the story was a little better in Fast Times giving the edge for better movie, but this one certainly holds its' own.
The one scene that made me squirm was when the boys went to that sleazy hooker. Each of the boys taking their turns, the hooker deriding them and being all nasty as she was and the end results is really a good deterrent for not engaging in that type of practice.
Copious amounts of nudity, a good amount of humor, and engaging characters make this one of the better types of movies within the genre.