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Editor’s note appended.
It may bill itself as The 40-Year-Old-Virgin blended with Risky Business, but while Virgin Alexander stars an unusually old virgin (26, to be exact) and a hooker with a heart of gold, the similarities end there. More is taken from Bachelor Party, the Porky’s sequels, and other cleaned-up B-movies that basic cable channels used to show in the middle of the night in the early 1990s. The titular Alexander, a mopey scrap hauler in an unnamed Upstate New York hamlet, finds himself conned by his own grandfather into inheriting a crumbling, debt-saddled house. Foreclosure ensues, of course. But Alexander’s fellow garbageman Cliff, more rakish and cocksure—as sidekicks in this kind of sex comedy are required to be—has a rescue plan: convert the over-leveraged hovel into a brothel.
Of course the sleepy Hudson Valley exurb already has a prostitution ring, one operated out of a dive bar managed by Bronson Pinchot. (Yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers.) His girls, led by Paige Howard as the warm-hearted one, defect to the new outfit, forcing him to resort to a solution that, let’s say, gives his forearms plenty of exercise. The story that follows manages to be very crude but mostly sexless. Forgive me, but a comedy set in a brothel should have a few more scenes in flagrante. (In one scene Alexander is lectured to by one of the girls in a setting not unlike an expository scene in a Russ Meyer flick, but that’s as much skin as there is.)
As a native of the region where Virgin Alexander was filmed, let me clear a few things up. Yes, Upstate New York has its keystone cops and wide-eyed hillbillies, but don’t trample on us like a grimy strip-club floor. We’re not above self-parody—hell, it’s bitterly cold from early October through late April and we’ve got more livestock than people—but Sean Fallon and Charlotte Barrett, my fellow Upstaters who directed this muck, could have aimed far higher. That said, I look forward to the glowing, hey-there’s-my-house reviews in the Albany Times-Union whenever the film plays at home.
Screens Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Letelier Theater, 3251 Prospect St. NW. $10. (202) 717-0700.
Editor’s note, March 5: Unbeknown to Benjamin R. Freed, the author of the post, the version of the film provided by the DC Independent Film Festival was a rough cut, and significantly different from the version showing tonight. Freed will attend tonight’s screening, and if he has any additional thoughts, or wants to revise his opinion, he’ll do so in this space.
Update, March 6: I attended last night’s screening of Virgin Alexander. There were no discernible changes between the cut on the screener and the version played at the festival. My original review stands. (BRF)