Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Olive Films - THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN on Blu-ray ""

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Olive Films - THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN on Blu-ray

THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN (1982; Boaz Davidson)
It seems to be much more properly recognized now, but THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN is truly a classic of the teen sex comedies of the 1980s. I put it up there against (if not equal to) things like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and REVENGE OF THE NERDS. It is more in line with FAST TIMES though than NERDS in that it really has a deep emotional core to it and has more on its mind than just T&A. Don't get me wrong though, THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN certainly doesn't shy away from the raunchy stuff. Like I said though, it deals more with the consequences of young love and sexual curiosity than most films of this ilk. The main three boys in the movie (Gary, Rick and David) have some lively adventures together in their quest for promiscuous gals and some of those adventures don't end so well. In one memorable outing, all three end up with cases of crabs and attempt to drown them at a local swimming pool. There is a certain sensitivity to the plight of the young and horny teenage boy that is more heartfelt than nearly any sex comedy out there. For one thing, our main character Gary (played by actor Lawrence Monoson) is the only one of the group to not be successful in his sexual exploits whilst his buddies are. So Gary's frustration can be felt throughout the movie and it helps pull you into the story. Gary is also a very nice guy and tries to do the right thing so it makes you really root for him, especially when his pal Rick starts going with a girl that Gary has a huge crush on (played by Diane Franklin). The whole push/pull of that intangible conflict boys have when a girl enters into the mix and friendships become very complicated is well observed. The thing that truly stands out about the movie though is the ending. If you ever speak to anyone who knows this film, at some point they will probably say something along the lines of "That ending!!". Not to be spoilery, but suffice it to say that the movie does not end on a happy note. I've always found downbeat endings to be particularly resonant and in my experience it seems that often movies that don't close with some sort of "happily ever after" note are often movies that have devoted fans exalting them. MIRACLE MILE comes immediately to mind as another example of this kind of cult item. THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN is of course a remake based on the Israeli film LEMON POPSICLE, which was also written and directed by Boaz Davidson. Whilst LEMON POPSICLE was a nostaglia piece about youths coming of age in Israel in the 1950s, Davidson updated and changed the location to present day Los Angeles for THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN. I'm not sure how much of the story is based on Davidson's real life experiences, but the movie overall has an extremely personal feeling and though it has its outlandish moments, overall it has an ernest nature and genuine approach to its characters that helps make it memorable.
Another thing that makes THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN quite memorable is its absolutely packed soundtrack. It includes songs from Tommy Tutone, The Police, Devo, Oingo Boingo, The Cars, U2, The Commodores, Journey, KC and the Sunshine Band and more. The barrage of amazing music helps the film feel vibrant and maintain a great energy throughout. One of the better soundtracks ever from an 80s film.
The transfer looks good and should be quite satisfying to fans used to seeing the film on DVD. No extra features are included.
The Blu-ray can be purchased here:

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