Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Last American Virgin (Boaz Davidson, 1982)

The well-worn arena of adolescent lust is yet again put under the cinematic microscope in the uproarious The Last American Virgin (a.k.a. Die letzte amerikanische Jungfrau), the fast-paced teen flick about a trio of horny teenage boys who desperately want their rub their inexperienced genitalia up against the flesh of a preferably living human female. Taking place during a time when people interacted outside (the windy place on the other side of the door where touching transpires), pizza was uncomplicated, and a pubic region that was rife with parasitic insects could [theoretically] be pacified by simply soaking the affected area in chlorine-treated water, the film is an extremely gratifying look at the disorderly realm of male bonding. The complex rituals, the strict codes of conduct, the comradery, they're all covered here in Boaz Davidson's forthright, yet playful screenplay (based on his own "Lemon Popsicle," an Israeli film from 1978). Deftly mixes bawdy humour (locker room pecker appraising) and some weighty subject matter (unjust heartbreak and foetal inconvenience), Boaz manages to create one of the more interesting teen spectacles of the era. And unlike other teen movies from this period, the dorky protagonists actually engage in acts of consensual congress.

A fresh-faced Lawrence Monoson plays Gary, the sensitive rung in the horny threesome's wheel of sexual frustration. I thought he had a real depth to his gaze. I mean, when he stares at Karen (the girl he is obsessed with), he does so with a fiery intensity. But then again, only a demented person filled with an irrational brand of ineptitude wouldn't be fixated by someone who looked like Diane Franklin: one of the most appealing actresses of her generation.

Diane, by the way, doesn't really get to do much in the early part of the film except look adorable whilst purchasing ice cream, but her performance does become a tad more productive once her character undergoes a couple of life changing experiences. Experiences that lead toward one of the most uplifting endings I've seen in years.

Blessed with one of the coolest soundtracks I have ever heard, The Last American Virgin is chock-full of new wave rock. Sure, the filmmakers use a couple of songs more than once (I think I heard Journey's "Open Arms" three times), but you can't have too much when it comes to The Cars and REO Speedwagon. Okay, I suppose you can have too much of the latter, but I do loves me The Cars. (Oh, baby, if only every movie was wall-to-wall Cars music.) Anyway, my ears were also able to pick out songs by Blondie, The Plimsouls, Oingo Boingo, Gleaming Spires ("Are You Ready For The Sex Girls"), The Human League, The Commodores ("Oh No"), Devo, The Police, and The Waitresses.

Extra special mention has to go out to Kimmy Robertson (Twin Peaks) for her smouldering portrayal of Rose, Karen's gal pal and Gary's determined female suitor. Now, don't get me wrong, this upcoming statement isn't intended to undermine Diane Franklin's babe status. However, and feel free to call me meshugana, I thought Kimmy's refined gorgeousness was awe-inspiring. The glasses, the funky pigtails, the nerdy mannerisms, and the way she would say, "Hi, Gary," all combined to forge one of the sexiest characters in the history of filmed entertainment. A performance for the ages.

Shake it up.



video uploaded by fyerfytr
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2 comments:

  1. The ending broke my heart,poor Gary.
    :.(

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  2. I'm going to add a little depth to the subject of this film's controversial ending, if for no other reason than simply because it deserves it...

    The one thing that should give anyone some definite clues that Lawrence Monoson's character "Gary" is going to end up the proverbial "loser" when all is said and done can be seen in his interactions with Diane Franklin's character "Karen" right from the start. NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE THAT YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW. That is the main lesson of the storyline here.

    As for other aspects of this movie, Diane Franklin shows her acting skills brilliantly as "Karen". It's ironic to me that some people who have seen this film hate Diane for her portrayal of "Karen" to the point where they can't say anything positive about her as an actress; the irony of it is, if Diane wasn't as talented as she was (and still is), she probably wouldn't have been chosen to play "Karen" in the first place.

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