If you haven’t heard, Project X is about a few unpopular guys throwing a ridiculous party. Some people have described it as, “Superbad meets The Hangover.” This is an interesting statement because even though Superbad and The Hangover are both raunchy comedies, they come from two incredibly different places. Superbad has this thing called a heart and actually respects its characters. When I saw the trailer for Project X is was easy to see this film didn’t possess those two qualities. You may or may not remember I was pretty upset by the Project X trailer and it’s rating I compared it to Shame’s NC-17 rating. Last week a blogger named Meredith Borders actually saw the film and wrote an amazing review to tackles the film better than I could. After the break is a few great quotes from the review, a link to the full review and my original critique of the sexist imagery all over the Project X trailer.
Quotes from Meredith Borders review: http://badassdigest.com/2012/03/01/project-x-is-actually-pretty-fun-and-thats-what-makes-it-dangerous/. I highly suggest you read the whole review. It’s great.
-Project X is evil and it must be destroyed.
– But the kids – mostly Costa, although JB and Thomas are complicit by virtue of never seeming to notice or mind – use the words “bitches,” “whores” and “sluts” constantly. The mass invite text Costa sends to the school reads something like: “Party at Thomas’ tonight. Hot bitches dress like it. Ugly chicks stay home.” Costa frequently reminds his cohorts that they must all “get pussy” that night. Not get laid – get pussy. There is a wide and unseemly distinction.
–Project X is the male gaze substantiated and concentrated into ninety sweaty minutes. The women in the film – aside from the one good girl, of course – exist as nothing but upskirt shots and exposed tits, sideways come hither glances at the camera and gyrating asses… Project X celebrates and rewards that misogyny. Although rated R, the film is clearly aimed at horny 15-year-olds who will sneak into the theater holding a ticket for The Lorax, and I legitimately dread the message they will take from this movie.
-But the movie doesn’t take that anxiety to a responsible place. Terrible things happen in this movie, but our leads are never punished for it. These kids are actually rewarded. Like everything Todd Phillips touches, Project X teaches the audience that – after a few wacky hiccups – irresponsible, sexist, hateful men always get what they want. This is a movie filled with loathsome characters doing despicable things and reaping preposterous benefits from it. Project X might be sort of fun, but it sucks.
My original critique of the trailer:
First 25 seconds are of a kid talking into his camera, revealing this is a found footage comedy? (Semi interesting).
0:28: this movie is a celebration of bad high school behavior! Yay.
0:30: “Tonight’s about having sex with those evil women who aren’t attracted to us (I’m paraphrasing).” Sexy dancing from a high school “girl”- although the actresses are obviously women (I try to always refer to females over 18 as women, not “girls”, because they are women and the term “girl” is used to take away their power.)
0:31: Woman licking a guy’s neck.
0:35: Two women grinding on each other.
0:37: One woman licking another woman’s nose.
0:38: Sexy dance by a new woman.
0:43: Woman sucking a lollipop.
0:47: Woman seductively getting out of a pool in a sexy black bikini.
0:48: Same woman being thrown into a pool by a guy.
1:00: Idolized blonde woman grinding some guy.
1:01: Woman in her underwear about to have sex.
1:02: Some guy using a leaf blower to blow some woman’s skirt up, revealing her underwear (because it’s so funny to have your butt shown to a whole party).
1:03: Woman making out with some guy.
So… there are about 40 seconds in this trailer that feature women. In those 40 seconds women are never treated as people, merely sexual objects. And they are treated as sexual objects 13 times (or every 3 seconds). This weekend Project X made $20 million, and sure plenty more teenagers snuck into it (I know because I snuck into movies all the time as a teenager). Can we stop and think about how this influences teenage boys? Maybe you don’t want to admit it, but sexism is alive and well. Currently, a woman makes about $0.75 for every $1.00 a man makes. Movies and other forms of media continue telling young men, “You are better. You deserve any woman you want. If they won’t give it to you they’re a prude. And if they do give it to you, well, then they’re a slut.” Apparently it’s perfectly okay for kids to see a movie that completely glorifies the sexual exploitation of women.