The To Do List Reviews
Basically the "To Do List" is a female version of "American Pie". It's about a girl(Aubrey Plaza) who graduates as the top of her class and realizes she has no sexual experience. So she decides to make a To-Do List(includes handjobs, blowjobs, etc.) to accomplish before she goes to college in the fall. I gotta say I didn't expect much from this, but this is very funny. I laughed a lot, and my wife actually stayed awake through the entire thing, which rarely happens. The cast is made up of mostly B and C level actors who do a decent enough job. Plaza does ok, but I think this role could have been handled better. She's not bad, just not great either. The Andy Samberg and Bill Hadar have small roles and both are fantastic. I wish Sandberg had a bigger(and different) role, but he is still awesome. The humor is very sophomoric and sexual(it's rated R), so if that's not your thing then you should skip. But, if you want a good lighthearted, sex comedy, then this is definitely worth checking out!
Very funny yet awkward movie! "The To-Do List" is an entirely raunchy, breezy coming-of-age comedy that is anchored with a solid, fearless performance by Aubrey Plaza. The film is uneven, wanders a bit, and sometimes plays like a series of SNL sketches than a full-on film, but is, on occasion, laugh-out-loud funny. It reminded me some of American Pie and Superbad but this movie takes it to a whole other level. It does get a little graphic, though there's not any nudity which is an odd thing to say after saying its graphic. You'll just have to see for yourself. I think the ladies will be able to relate to the movie more than guys, but regardless, its funny for everyone.
Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Klark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.
Basically, this is kinda like The 40 Year-Old Virgin (in terms of broad goal and the vulgarity), mixed with the sweetness of a film from the John Hughes era. Also, being that it's written/directed by a woman, and focused on a female lead, I shouldn't be giving these details special attention, but alas, that's the sad state of mainstream films. This trend of having too many raunchy teen sex films focus primarily on guys needs to end.
I'll just go ahead and say that the film is formulaic and predictable, but what saves it are the performances. Yeah, it's hard to some of these people as recent high school grads (especially Aubrey Plaza in the lead), but she has enough heart, charm, and charisma to pull it off. The others manage to do decently as well. Connie Britton was a scream as Brandy's mom, and, though I like Clark Gregg, I think he was a bit flat as Brandy's uptight dad. I mean, it's a stock role, but even then he just seemed on autopilot. My favorites were probably Sarah Steele and especially Alia Shawkat as Brandy's best friends. Bill Hader is also a lot of fun as Brandy's burn out boss.
As I said, the film is a mix of raunch and heart, and, while there was nothing here that really shocked me per se, it was kinda neat to see the film be unafraid to get frank and edgy at times. It was a little repetitive seeing Brandy gets continually humiliated, but there was an arc with it, so that made it a little easier to bear. But still, they could have eased off some.
The soundtrack is great, the film makes great use of it's setting (1993 for the win!), and, despite being nothing new, offers up a great deal of laughs and fun, so yeah, I ended up having a decent time watching this. I'm admittedly torn between 3 and 3.5, so let's call it somewhere around a B.
The movie is kinda funny, and Aubrey Plaza, while known for her awkward comedy, gets some nice slow-motion hottie entrances. I don't find the movie terribly memorable though - mainly just Rachel Bilson's hilarious bitchy older sister routine and all the great 90s references.
Even though there have been plenty of better and funnier teen sex comedies, "The To Do List" is probably the first one to quote Gloria Steinem. Plus, along with a message to never be too perfect and just relax, the movie is remarkably sex positive, even towards parents, in its alternately amiable and yet crude way, as performed by a likable cast.(I had to avert my eyes during one particularly gross episode.) As the movie puts it, sometimes sex is a big deal, and other times not, just as there is too much emphasis on losing one's virginity. There are even some helpful hints here, especially if one happens to be in a movie theater. All of which is good to know, not only due to the ignorance of the pre-internet era Boise the movie is set in, which probably has to do with a lack of sex education.