Virgin Alexander (2011) – By Jon Reino

A true gem of the festival circuit may never be seen by the average person and will usually disappear into the abyss of nameless indies. Virgin Alexander is a film that truly deserves to be seen. Literally every aspect of this film is fantastic. The writing, the acting, the direction, the cinematography, the editing, and the soundtrack all come together to form an unforgettable indie comedy.

Alexander is a 26 year old scrap hauler who lives with his grandfather and is forced it listen to his co-worker Clif’s obviously exaggerated sexual adventures all day. He is also a virgin. One day he comes home from work to the surprising news that his grandfather is signing over the deed to the house to him and is quickly rushed off to go sign the papers. When Alexander returns to the house his grandfather is nowhere to be found and a foreclosure notice has been inconveniently posted on his front door, and now he must come up with $125,000 in just a few days or lose his house. After a few miserably failed attempts to come up with the money, a chance encounter with a would-be college girl named Ruby influences them to start a brothel in his house to help come up with the money and help her raise money for her tuition.

One of the most important aspects of this film is the acting and cast. This is proof that the phrase "ensemble cast" does not mean "a bunch of famous people". Rick Faugno is perfectly cast as the awkward and shy Alexander. Patrick Zeller plays a fantastic cocky scrap hauler as Clif. Paige Howard plays the strong and confident Ruby, and the rest of the cast is rounded out by fantastic independent actors and actresses who’s performances both stand out from one another yet blend seamlessly together to form a true ensemble that would put the casting of any major release to shame. This film uses awkwardness and comedic timing to its advantage, and what might have been lifeless dialog on paper becomes comedic art through their performances. Equal parts sex comedy, romance, coming of age, and drama, this film is a truly unique tale in a refreshingly original package.

Aiding in the pleasantly awkward qualities is the cinematography and editing. A comedy can easily be ruined by poor timing when cutting dialog or placing unnecessary elements, but in Virgin Alexander every beat is perfect. Be it a quick cutting dialog or a long drawn out shot to add awkwardness, every edit is well placed and delivers the desired effect. The use of occasional handheld builds intensity when there is action and awkward wide shots are well timed to show people’s reactions to strange things that happen.

The point I’m trying to get across is that no one aspect of this film is any better than another, but that all aspects of the film work harmoniously to become greater than the sum of it’s parts. The comedic acting would not have had the same effect if it were not for great timing with the edits. The script might not have been as funny if it were not for the fantastic performances. Everything comes together to form a fantastic hit. The film has already screened at festivals all over the country, was the opening night screening at the 2011 Orlando Film Festival where it won Best Ensemble and where Rick Faugno took home the award for Best Performance. The film also took home awards at the Illinois International Film Festival, Las Vegas Film Festival, DC Independent Film Festival, Black Hills Film Festival, and the Visionfest Film Festival. So, if me explaining how fantastic this film is has not done it justice than surly it’s festival track record with back me up. The bottom line is that this is a brilliant and hilarious film, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not seeing this film if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity. Go to virginalexander.com to watch the trailer and read up on the cast, crew, and the film itself.