In 1895, the Lumière brothers wowed the world with their films Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory and Jumping Onto the Blanket. Soon after they released Batilde Gets Into the Absynthe and Takes Her Bloomers Off. So 83 years later when Animal House was released, the elderly were heard in theaters all over the world loudly complaining that they had "been there, done that, pass the Geritol." Of course this is an untrue scenario, but if it happened to be real you know that's how it would go, because nothing is ever as good as it used to be. Party movies like Project X are and always have been inevitable, especially in the current landscape of filmmaking where new ideas are as rare as unicorn kisses. If you're not a part of the target demographic (meaning, anyone who didn't hum a few bars of Daydream Believer when Davy Jones died, or who knows that Wiz Khalifa is NOT the name of a disease common among hedgehogs), you're probably not going to get this movie. And that's fine. Have fun going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Project X is like the 2012 of "kids throwing a party" movies, where everything you can imagine is thrown into the mix with some Ecstasy thrown in to add flavor. I'm not saying that this movie is high quality, or rivals any of its predecessors on a story or character level. It has all the depth and emotional pull of a Youtube video at 8 times the length. But party movies, more so than most genres, are meant to reflect the spirit of the time, so they only resonate with the people living parallel to them (and secretly, older people that are living vicariously through them). In that respect, Project X succeeds. Today's world is about documenting every aspect of your life because everyone is fascinating (sarcasm implied)--hence the found footage and unknowns as the stars.
When you have a child, you should probably commit to completely abandoning "weekends alone" while your children are ages 11-18. Throughout time, this has led to no good. Your kids will get lost in the city, destroy your home, have sex, or in this case, have the best birthday of their lives. Thomas (Thomas Mann) is the birthday boy, and his irritatingly hilarious and abrasive friend Costa (Oliver Cooper) comes up with this great idea to make them popular by throwing a big bash. Their timid pal JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) signs up to lend a (mostly useless) hand. Through the magic of social media the party gets enormously out of control in ways that Tom Hanks in Bachelor Party or Jennifer Love Hewitt in Can't Hardly Wait could only dream of.
The material amounts to little more than a series of vignettes which would have made for an excellent web series. Crammed together, it actually feels long, because once you see how fantastically bad this party has gone, you just want to see what happens the day after. The ending is not particularly satisfying, but neither was the movie, save for a couple of laughs and a little person in an oven. It just shows that times certainly have changed since American Graffiti. If anything, for everyone reading, the existence Project X is a positive thing. Even though time ravages your body, it does make everything you used to think was crap look great in comparison.