Saturday, August 3, 2013
MOVIE REVIEW: THE TO DO LIST
A high-school valedictorian makes a list of all of the sexual acts she wants to try before college, and seeks out the right partners to help expedite her sex education in this semiautobiographical comedy from writer/director Maggie Carey.
Director: Maggie Carey
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, Alia Shawkat, Sarah Steele, Rachel Bilson
Rated R pervasive strong crude and sexual content including graphic dialogue, drug and alcohol use, and language - all involving teens.
Runtime: 1 hr. 44 min.
The To Do List has the makings of a comedy gem. A strong comedic female lead flanked by an equally impressive supporting cast with a funny premise. Unfortunately, it’s evident from the start that Aubrey Plaza is miscast as the valedictorian straight arrow trying to up her sexual IQ. Plaza’s greatest strength is her deadpan sarcastic delivery and this role doesn’t fit her strengths. As a result she never seems comfortable in the role. The script does her very little favors since it can’t help but make obvious jokes, some of which miss badly, and remind us endlessly that it’s set in the 90s. The supporting cast filled out their roles nicely but considering some of the talents they fell slightly underutilized especially Bill Hader and Connie Britton. Rachel Bilson and Plaza have a fun bit of sister chemistry which helps the film in some of the dead spot. There are a few inspired sections that provide some good laughs but they are few and far between unfortunately resulting in a ho-hum comedy that feels a lot longer than its runtime. It could have been Park and Recreation’s Leslie Knope The R Rated Teen Years meets American Pie instead it just misses the mark.