Outrageous parties are not uncommon, but they also do not happen every day. If you’ve watched Project X, the extreme craziness of it all will definitely leave you wondering about the inspiration behind the film.
The 2012 comedy film, directed by Nima Nourizadeh, follows three high school seniors who throw a massive party that quickly spirals out of control. The movie was a commercial success, grossing over $100 million worldwide.
So, is Project X based on a true story? Read on for all the insider details– the answer might surprise you.
What Happened In The Movie Project X?
Project X portrays everything you would expect to happen in a teen movie and more. The film follows the story of three high school students from North Pasadena– Thomas(Thomas Mann), J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown), and Costa (Oliver Cooper) who, in an attempt to be popular, throw a wild party for Thomas’ 17th birthday.
The sex and drugs-driven birthday party, punctuated by loud music and dancing on the streets, prompts the neighbors to call the police to restore law and order. But, so high on booze, drugs, and adrenaline are the teenagers that they don’t hold back on fighting the police, resulting in a chaotic and dangerous scene.
Although the three teenagers earn their fame, it comes with a prize.
The movie’s found-footage documentary style, shot through the perspective of Dax’s camera, gives it a true-story vibe. Dax (Dax Flame) is portrayed as one of the high school students in the film, and his unsteady camera gives us insight into the behind-the-scenes drama of a house party that spirals out of control.
The American comedy film is directed by Nima Nourizadehm, written by Michael Bacall of 21 Jumpstreet and Matt Drake, and produced by Todd Phillips of The Hangover.
True Events inspired Project X
In 2008, the story of Corey Delaney Worthington, an Australian teen, enthralled the world, making him a viral sensation. Worthington took to the social media platform MySpace to send party invitations for a bash at his house, urging his friends to come over for a good time. His parents would be away on vacation, so he’d have the entire house to himself– every teenager’s dream!
It was reported that more than 500 teenagers showed up to Corey’s real-life party, and as expected, the celebrations turned wild with incredible noise-making and property damage. Worthington, who was interviewed on Tracy Grimshow’s A Current Affair, was unapologetic for the chaos that ensued from his party.
“Get me; I will do it for you. It has been the best party ever,” said Worthington when the news reporter asked what he’d tell other teenagers wanting to throw a party without their parent’s consent.
Welp! Clearly, it’s a different kind of world for teenagers.
The storyline underlying the insane party movie is a bit similar to Worthington’s. But, we should also be quick to note that Worthington’s was not the only wild and memorable party; there are dozens of such across the world, and you’ve probably attended one or know someone who has.
Asked whether Project X was based on a real story or perhaps on Corey Worthington’s viral party, director Nima Nourizadeh insisted that the film was not based on any one party. Rather, he and writers Michael Bacall and Matt Drake had talked about the wild parties they had attended, knew, or been told about.
So, there you have it: Project X is not based on a true story. However, the fictional out-of-control party is inspired by a combination of true events, helping the director create a film that feels eerily familiar to anyone who was once a teenager.
That said, many of the events in the movie are fictional or highly exaggerated. For example, thousands of teenagers attend Thomas Kub’s party in the movie. But, the real-life parties that inspired the movie were obviously smaller, with just a few hundred attendees.
All in all, real-life events inspired the American teen comedy film, but ya’ll should keep in mind that this is still a fictional piece of work and does not accurately represent any one house party.
Project X Controversy and Critical Acclaim
If you are a fan of dark humor or teen comedy in general, Nourizadeh’s Project X is a nice way to relax and pass the time over the weekend. It is hilarious as it is outrageous and a bit embarrassing.
The movie grossed more than $100 million at the box office worldwide and received critical acclaim. But, despite it being largely fictional, critics were appalled by the glamorization of sex, drugs, destruction, and underage drinking, making a poor impression on young people.
Yet, the truth is the film offers a realistic portrayal of life in high school and captures a prevalent cultural phenomenon of over-the-top parties that often end up in destruction and fatalities.
Of course, Project X does not seek to glorify drugs, sex, and crime. It is a cautionary tale against the dangers of extreme and risky behaviors whose consequences can override merrymaking.
The movie’s opening credits state, “The events depicted in this movie are fiction, and any similarity to persons living or dead is coincidental.”
Another controversial aspect of the film is the fact that there is a mix of real-life people and mere actors, giving it a documentary, based-on-true-events feel. For example, Dax Flame plays himself (Dax) in the film, and so do Alexxis Knapp (Alexxis) and Kirby Bliss Blanton (Kirby). Other characters, such as Costa, are fictional.
Critics point out that Project X’s marketing campaign used real-life videos of wild parties posted online to create the film. Based on an aggregate of online videos, the trailer led people to believe that Project X was a documentary-style film or based on a true story.
The Choice of Unknown Characters Was Deliberate
Despite this being a pretty big movie, most of Project X’s cast was previously unknown.
Well, according to the director, the choice of unknown actors was intentional; it helped make the film more authentic. If the actors were well-known or familiar faces in Hollywood, then the documentary-style film would not bring out the real-life vibe the director wanted to achieve.
The authenticity factor is also why the director opted for a found-footage genre. This style is mostly used in the making of horror flicks and paranormal films, but Project X succeeded in using the style to create a comedy that captures the good, the bad, and the ugly of a teenage party that gets out of hand.
The drug-happy, sexed-up, and property-damaging scenes on Project X are frankly partly shocking and partly hilarious. The film doesn’t seek to glorify chaotic behavior, but for all it is worth, Thomas’ fictional bash espouses real-life shindigs that we know or have heard about.