The To Do List - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The To Do List Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 23, 2013
Coming of age sexual odysseys have been seen before, but never so female friendly and reliant on the gross-out factor. There's something so realistic and funny about the exploits of youth, and becoming a woman on top of that, lends to adolescent humor that we've never seen before. Director and writer Maggie Carey really knows how to make films for women and uses both realism and perversity to make a genuinely funny film about what it's like for a teenaged girl when she starts realizing her own sexual ambition. It's really sweet on top of being gross out funny, and that just doesn't get seen enough with a female in the lead. It went a little off-color at times, and got a little too familiar with her parents, but that just lent to its charm and dry humor.
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2014
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!
Super Reviewer
½ December 7, 2013
I haven't laughed this hard in a while. Aside from it's odd editing choices and weird sounding audio, "The To Do List" is a blast to watch, albeit somewhat disturbing. As we follow Brandy (Aubrey Plaza) journeying through the stages of sex, she learns life lessons, even though the people should be more caring than they are displayed here. Clark Gregg is amazing as the father and they could not have made a better casting choice. I found myself laughing through every scene, not only at the gross-out gags, but at the genuine dialogue-driven gags as well. This is a very well-written comedy, the actors all seem to be having fun, and the director handles the material really well. The film takes a few too many risky turns, and some choppy editing can become distracting, but overall, it's one of the best comedies of 2013!
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2013
three stars...
Super Reviewer
November 21, 2013
She's going from straight A's to her first F.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2013
Set in the early summer of 1993, a socially awkward overachiever named Brandy Klark decides to become less uptight and more importantly, sexually experienced before she starts college in the fall. So, in typical methodical fashion, she creates a list of various sexual acts to perform, with the ultimate goal being to lose her virginity to her hunky college-aged co-worker Rusty Waters.

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.
Super Reviewer
August 14, 2013
This story of a Type-A gal approaching her sexual education as a series of regimented tasks is commendable for breaking the double standard against sex and raunch in female-centric movies. "The To Do List" is unapologetically dirty and baldly clinical, but I found myself wanting more emotion - not because fem-centric movies need to balance raunch with Haagen-Daaz and "watching 'Love Actually' until periods sync up," but because Brandy's buttoned-up character lacks believable motivation for such sexual depravity and the plot lacks any believable redemption for sins committed, specifically with Johnny Simmons' sad, Zack-Morris-haired Cameron. I understand Brandy's exasperation at men being animals, but she eventually learns that sex IS a bigger emotional deal than she thought, yet her and Cameron's resolution is solely about orgasm. Which I guess is another laurel for this raunchy fem-centric movie: the woman is empowered by sexual maturity not love.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2015
The To Do List sidles in just on the right side of "okay". Just. The majority of the jokes don't work for me, and the premise it takes off from was flimsy as Hell, which would be fine if it wasn't something I kept thinking about. No one actor is really impressive (although Clark Gregg did step it up a little), and no technical achievements could notch any merits in To Do List's favour either. Subverting the teen movie/sex comedy tropes is a nice touch, but let's be honest, I would never have watched this if Aubrey Plaza wasn't in it, and I came out of it with virtually the exact same opinion I had going in.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2013
After graduating first in her class in high school, Brandy Klark(Aubrey Plaza) will be attending Georgetown in the fall, along with her lab partner Cameron(Johnny Simmons). In the meantime, she has a graduation party being thrown by Mormons to attend but her best friends Fiona(Alia Shawkat) and Wendy(Sarah Steele) divert her to a kegger with better music. While there, Brandy almost has a mistaken drunken hook up with Rusty Waters(Scott Porter), a hot college guy who plays the guitar. All of a sudden, Brandy realizes she has a lot more to do before the fall.

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.
Super Reviewer
July 26, 2013
The To Do List is a lot of people I like trying very hard to do something interesting and new, but ultimately just ends up all of the place. Parts are unnecessarily crude, understandably but off-puttingly vulgar, and in a lot of places the script just feels like it could have used a couple more passes. The characters don't feel real, the plot doesn't feel fleshed out. It simply boils down to a series of funny moments that should have added up to more.
Super Reviewer
½ December 14, 2013
There is a lot to like on first glimpse with the To Do List: a good cast and a daring premise. However, it didn't hold my attention quite like I would have hoped and for being such a racy subject, I felt it was a bit tame. Not all the jokes, but a good bit of them felt forced. Not from the way the characters delivered them, just how they were written. Aubrey Plaza is the weird, kooky character you'd expect. It's who she plays best. Johnny Simmons doesn't offer much. The supporters of Hader and Bilson and Gregg give some of the better punchlines and have more affect on the humor. Set in the '90's, it doesn't quite have the feel of a high school movie set in the time period we grew up in.
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2013
If you remember the first time you learned swear words and if from that point forward, you slipped them in wherever possible, than the screenplay for "The To Do List" feels exactly like that except with dirty content in general. Before seeing the film, I appreciated that this was an "R" rated comedy about sex, especially with a strong female lead pursuing sexual experiences. However, labeling this film "R" only gave it license to be all about the raunch rather than delving into story or characters that we actually gave a shit about. Aubrey Plaza proved that she could carry herself in a feature film with "Safety No Guaranteed" but with "The To Do List", she comes off more like a Saturday Night Live skit rather than a fleshed out human being. As much as I wanted to love this film, it just never felt right, whether it was the caricature of a dad, played by Clark Gregg, the horrible performance from Johnny Simmons, or the sad attempts at making Rachel Bilson a whore. Even Bill Hader is not enough to change the constantly shifting and pointless avenues of this film. Instead of being the raunchy, sexy comedy of the 90's that we wanted, all we got was a half-assed, barely funny summer comedy that will likely be forgotten.
July 24, 2013
An underrated gem. Hardly any of the witty, unapologetically obscene humor in this fresh take on the raunchy teen comedy genre falls flat. The message is clear, consistent--but not forced--and, more importantly, empowering. Not to mention, Aubrey Plaza can add this role to the top of her towering list of hilarious deadpan performances.
½ December 8, 2015
Critics threw this one in the tank, probably in part because of how awkward it is. They also accused the film of playing it safe, which it certainly does not. The To Do List covers a wide range of sexually explicit topics in a manner that strives to be awkward to convey how awkward these first experiences really are. The topics are addressed with minimal tact and confronted head on and I really appreciated that. The all star cast keeps the movie laughter filled throughout and I really enjoyed the viewing experience, something that can't be often said for most films these days.
½ November 14, 2015
I liked "The To Do List" very much. It had the whole 90's thing going on. I grew up in the 90's so I loved the music in the film. Aubrey Plaza really was awesome in this. I think she is very funny.
February 28, 2015
Good cast, but lackluster storyline. Aubrey Plaza and Rachel Bilson had great chemistry. Wish there were more scenes with them. The rest of the cast did a pretty good job with a subpar story. If this was supposed to be the female version of American pie it feel way short. There were a couple laughs, but nothing really noteworthy. I was really hoping for more given all the comedic people in this movie.
October 16, 2015
Charming coming of age story centered around the always delightful Aubrey Plaza and her self-imposed list of sexual acts that she wants to try/master before entering college to get rid of her uptight image.

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