Life for 16-year-old Ben Feldman blows. His father – the neighbourhood’s rabbi – recently passed away and his mom is already shtupping Abe Brillstein, the local used car salesman. Trying to improve Ben’s crumbling world, his girlfriend Rachel feels it’s time for her and Ben to do the deed. When Ben discovers that Rachel isn’t a virgin, however, he freaks out. Enter Ben’s freshly pubescent best friends: Mike Goodman, the bully-son of a low-level weed dealer; David Cox, a scrawny kid with attitude, and struggling with the news that his own father is gay; and Lenny Levy, a chubby, naïve try-hard who fat-shames himself on the regular. When Goodman tells the boys that he’s gained exclusive access to a real-life brothel, they know that their problems are forever solved – or so they think. To get to the brothel, they’ll need to travel to Reno, Nevada, where the liquor is cheap and the women are… surprisingly expensive. After “borrowing” the late-rabbi’s van, the boys head out with the promise of women, manhood and at least one communal hand-job. What they don’t know is that Goodman has ulterior motives: to follow his incarcerated father’s orders and deliver a stash of dirty money to Reno’s most notorious narcotics dealer. In the tradition of Stand by Me and Superbad, Virgin Summer is a story about friendship, the painfully awkward transition into adulthood, and those epic summers that seem to go on forever. It’s also about boys learning what it takes to become men, which, as it turns out, includes coming to understand that women are people, too.
Ryan W. Smith