Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The To Do List Review - 2½ Stars

Deadpan comic Aubrey Plaza hits just the right note in this raunchy coming of age comedy.  She’s a no nonsense high school valedictorian who suddenly discovers boys and vows to educate herself sexually before going on to college.  Thus her “To Do” list. Part of the appeal of “The To Do List” is that it reverses gender.  Usually it’s a nerdy boy trying to lose his virginity.  This time it’s a single minded dorky girl.   Adding to the sharp writing is the decision to set the movie in the 90’s—so references to “electronic mail” and “Beaches” and shots of gigantic portable telephones add a nice touch.  “To Do” also showcases familiar faces including Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rachel Bilson, and Bill Hader.  It feels like a “Saturday Night Live” summer vacation project.  I came away really liking Aubrey Plaza—some of you know her from “Parks and Recreation.”  Good things ahead for her.  Pardon this thought, but thirty years ago this might have been the plot for a grade Z porno.  The “R” rating is for language and situations.  “To Do” has no nudity.  I think they succeeded in making a sex comedy with humor and without any sexy moments.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Coming of age comedy with a sly role reversal.  Is it entertaining?  Some sly moments.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Not great and a little long but often funny.