Friday, July 26, 2013

The To Do List - 2 1/2 stars

Aubrey Plaza stars as Brandy Clark.  It's 1993 and Brandy has just graduated from high school.  She is the class valedictorian, an uptight know-it-all, and a virgin.  So she decides that before starting college, she will have sex.  Not only will she have sex, but she will experience every possible sex act she can come up with.

I didn't catch where she gets all these terms from, but she makes a list that would make Caligula blush.  Of course, she doesn't know what any of them mean.  But she is determined to try them all, no matter how bad they may be.  This should be the setup for a really raunchy and funny sex comedy.  Unfortunately the movie doesn't live up to that promise.

The movie just isn't funny enough.  There were some laughs, but too often the gags fall short.  Some of the funniest parts involve her parents, Connie Britton and Clark Gregg.  Her dad doesn't want to talk about sex with his daughter, and he is convinced that his wife was a virgin until their wedding night. 

Brandy has two friends, played by Alia Shawkat and Sarah Steele.  Her friends are more worldly than she is about sex, but they still don't offer much help.  You would think they would explain what a few of the acts are she is about to attempt, so maybe she could reconsider. 

This is a teen sex comedy told from the female point of view.  It's refreshing to see girls talking about their sexual plans as frankly as the guys in American Pie.  Aubrey has a crush on a good looking rocker type named Rusty Waters (Scott Porter), while her former lab partner Cameron (Johnny Simmons) harbors a secret crush on her.  He is all too happy to be her first experimental partner, but it's no surprise that he will be hurt when he finds out what she's up to, and that Rusty is her eventual goal.

I also have to point out that for an R-rated sex comedy, it's pretty surprising that there is no nudity.  There are several sex scenes, and the girls keep their bras on and the covers pulled up.  There are a couple of night swimming scenes where everyone swims in their underwear.  Sometimes nudity is gratuitous, but in a movie like this it would have made sense. 

This is one of those movies that isn't bad, it just isn't quite good enough to recommend.  But I did laugh a few times, and the characters were likeable.  If this looks good to you, you should go see it.  I don't think you will be disappointed.  This is probably closer to a 2 and 3/4 star movie.

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