LOGAN -- Patrick Romero multitasked a Utah State University homework assignment into a platform to annoy his ex-girlfriend.
The student made a video essay, required for an English course, into an exploration of whether men and women can ever be "just friends."
"It was a subject me and my girlfriend had argued about quite often," said Romero, 23. "We'd broken up since, and the video was going to be the cherry on top."
But when the professor suggested Romero post his video on YouTube, for easier in-classroom viewing, the video went viral.
As of Monday afternoon, the video, posted by "patvicious1," had more than 4.5 million viewings. The video essay was featured on the CBS Morning News, and MSN.com has inquired about posting the video on its site.
"It started with people in the class posting it on Facebook, and it took off from there," said Romero, who posted the video on YouTube two weeks ago.
Romero, a graphics design student from Sandy, requests that you skip reading the next paragraph if you happen to be his English professor:
"I threw it together at the last minute," Romero said. "I hate for my English teacher to know, but it was the day it was due when I realized I needed to get started on the film."
Romero, assisted on camera by USU friend Jesse Budd, approached strangers at USU's Merrill-Cazier Library. He asked the young women if males and females could be platonic friends, which the women affirmed as absolutely possible.
Romero then asked the same thing of the men, all of whom stated that being "just friends" with even a mildly attractive young woman was impossible.
Then Romero asked the women whether their "platonic" male friends would be interested in romance if given encouragement. The women had to admit their male friends would "go for it" if given the chance.
One very quick and clever edit later, the project was turned in, on deadline, and the wheels of viral-video fate began to turn.
"We didn't think too much of the video," said Budd, 23, and a business major from Riverton.
"But if you look at our YouTube demographics, it's mostly guys watching. I think they use it as something to show their girlfriends, trying to settle their own arguments. It's a funny video, good for a laugh and for a discussion."
Romero said his former sweetie, a "beautiful blonde with awesome hair," whom he prefers not to name, never did agree with his point that her many male buddies have ulterior motives.
"She's still in denial," Romero said with a laugh. "She's still friends with all those same guys, and she's still in denial."
He would like it known that he and Budd are both single and both are interested in finding new girlfriends.
"Make sure you put that in," Romero said. "It couldn't hurt."
Romero said he's enjoying the media attention and has one dream for the video.
"The goal now is to get it on 'Ellen,' he said. "Any girl will date you if you've been on 'Ellen.' "
And there's one message Romero would like to get out there, specifically to the students he talked into going on camera for his homework video.
"I feel bad," he said. "People were skeptical about talking to me on camera, and I told them, 'Don't worry, it's not going to be on TV and nobody will ever see it.'
"That calmed them down, but that was more than 4 million views ago."