• R, 1 hr. 44 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Maggie Carey
    In Theaters:
    Jul 26, 2013 Wide
    On DVD:
    Nov 19, 2013
  • CBS Films


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The To Do List Reviews

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Spencer S

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.
Everett J

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

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

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.
Alice S

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

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.
George F

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.
Lane Z

Super Reviewer

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.
Christopher H

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.
January 14, 2014
It was certainly silly and yet I wasn't the biggest fan of the writing. It read too much like a pamphlet and was very incredulous.
July 10, 2014
It looks great, has a great cast & a 90s soundtrack, but it's just not funny. And considering that it's semi-autobiographical, I guess it's the "you had to be there" situation. What a waste. The concept is good, but the film is awkward & often mean. SKIP IT.
June 17, 2014
A nerdy high-school valedictorian graduate realizes she has conquered everything she ever wanted except for men. Her older sister and friends intimidate her by telling her about how college will be a giant erotic buffet, and if she is not ready things will be hard. Panicking, her ambitious attitude kicks in, and she sets out to master a wide array of sexual experiences before going to college. This is not a new concept for a raunchy comedy. What makes it different is how women are the ones cracking the funny rude comments and acting as the sexual predators. It is refreshingly honest and helps restore some shock value to the jokes. Aubrey Plaza is a perfect fit for the main role. She has the awkward neediness one expects, but she also conveys a bossy wrongfully placed sense of confidence that makes her character uniquely funny. The humorous 1993 setting adds more to the humor more than expected with silly pop culture references. More importantly, the early 90s setting removes the presence of the Internet, now the go to learning tool for these matters. This nice move makes her mission to educate herself about sex much funnier. There are a number of side characters, some better than others, but overall they make strong enough support. In a surpassing but interesting move, it avoids becoming a romantic comedy. Perhaps this deflates the feel-good vibe, but it keeps the tone of the movie funny from start to finish and does not fall into a formula. This greatly exceeds expectations and is a strong comedy, so long as you take no offence in raunchy humor or the thought of teenagers having sex.
June 2, 2014
Raunchily funny with the right mixture of charm, Aubrey Plaza is pitch perfect for the starring role in this coming of age comedy about the pressures of being sexually experienced at a particular age. With plenty of hilarious gags and a nice reminiscent dose of nostalgia (at least for my generation), this is what I would call a good modern comedy.
December 5, 2013
Only one shot filmed in Idaho. .. also featured period Idaho licence plates. Had an excellent period music selection.
February 11, 2014
I had such low expectations for this and I'm so surprised by how much I liked it and even more shocked by how much I laughed. Aubrey Plaza and this cast were hilarious. I would watch it a few more times.
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