To watch most movies featuring teenagers, you would assume that sex is as simple a function of breathing. In goes seduction and confidence... and out comes a liaison. The most refreshing aspect in Peter Sollett's Raising Victor Vargas is in how the young characters stumble around their emotions, trying to spot their comfort zone.

The title character (Victor Rasuk) is an 18-year-old Lower East Side playa-wannabe: The film's opening finds him undressing for a neighborhood girl, derisively called "Fat Donna." Though that encounter is interrupted, Victor and his friend are soon hitting on two girls at the local swimming pool, where Victor falls for Judy (Judy Marte), who ignores him. Rejection isn't about to slow him down, though. Victor recruits Judy's younger brother (Wilfree Vasquez) to reintroduce them, and thus the two kids begin an awkward process of letting their guards down.

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