American Virgin

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American Virgin

A satire of the porn industry and trashy talk shows that's nearly as crass and dumb as its targets, American Virgin stars Mena Suvari as a sullen teen who rebels against her strict father (Robert Loggia) by agreeing to lose her virginity on the Internet. The mastermind behind Suvari's cyber-deflowering is pornographer Bob Hoskins, who just happens to have been Loggia's assistant and chief porn-industry rival, further raising the gruff former orange-drink pitchman's considerable ire. Loggia vows to stop his daughter's online degradation at any cost, a process that at one point involves coercing his hulking assistant into tattooing a tiny penis on Hoskins' forehead. An appropriately embarrassed-looking Suvari sulks in the background, forced to play it relatively straight while Loggia and Hoskins engage in an overacting death-match that constantly sinks to new lows. Hoskins and Loggia have done excellent work before, but they're lost here, playing cartoonish grotesques who spend much of the film screaming witless insults at each other. And since no abysmal would-be satire is complete without a healthy dose of misogyny, American Virgin hauls out onetime In Living Color cast member Alexandra Wentworth as Loggia's braying porn-star wife, a dimwitted golddigger perpetually accompanied by a yippy little dog. Of course, there's more to satire than merely showing misanthropic caricatures going at it like white-trash combatants on a daytime talk show, but American Virgin, like Alan Rudolph's mindlessly frenetic Breakfast Of Champions, seems to think it can get by on volume alone. Opening with credits that misspell costar Esai Morales' name, an indignity second only to actually appearing in the film, American Virgin is a shockingly inept comedy that succeeds only in exposing and reveling in its own all-consuming stupidity.

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