The To Do List

Awful guys. Awful.
"She's going from straight A's to her first F."

That is not good guys and gals. Look at that tagline. It is a bad tagline. It should feel bad about who and what it is. I threw up a little typing it, but I mean, I had to. That's what was on the poster, what else could I do? Let me try and regain my composure. Okay I'm ready, hello everyone, and welcome to the awkward sex portion of the week. Today you'll be following me down a bizarre rabbit hole into the figurative and literal clusterfuck that is The To Do List. For those wondering "what even are you talking about" that's a fair question. The To Do List stars Aubrey Plaza (see her here as well) as Brandy Klark, a really awkward power nerd who decides that she needs to be more experienced sexually before she goes to college. To this end, she goes about solving the problem any true nerd would, by making a list of mundane (and also kind of weird) sex stuff, researching said things, and then setting about doing them all. I first heard about this movie after a bizarre incident that a lot of people think might have been staged, but that I'm not 100% about because it was really weird, you can look it up online. I'm referring to Aubrey Plaza crashing the stage of the MTV Movie awards and attempting to take Will Ferrel's award during his acceptance speech. There are reasons to believe that it was staged and that she wasn't just bomb annihilated drunk, for starters why she was in the very front row. Also she had the name of this movie written across her chest, and that got some camera time when she returned to her seat (before she was reportedly ejected from the venue). The MTV Movie Awards are known for that kind of "unstaged but actually no totally staged" stuff though, so who knows. THE POINT IS that was how I first heard about this movie, and so I figured what the hell, give it a watch and see what sorts of weird shit happens. Well all kinds I guess.

Rachel Bilsen as her slutty sister.
As a first thing to say about this movie, it is set in the 90s, like in a really big way. When I say 90s I mean early to mid 90s too, none of this on the eve of 2000 stuff. This is reflected in clothing styles still bearing the scars of the 80s, VHS being a thing that exists, and a really excellent soundtrack. If I was being totally honest with myself, the soundtrack was probably my favorite part of the movie. If they released a soundtrack for this movie, I would purchase it from the internet.  Anyway Brandy decides it's time to get some 'experience' after she almost has the sex with some guy who's name is Rusty and I guess he's some big shot, sexy dude or whatever. Anyway instead of sleeping with this guy, she throws up a lot because she was drinking also a lot, and that was not something she had previously done. Brandy's two best friends support her in her endeavor, mainly because they seem to have a pretty strong "drink a lot and then do stuff with whoever" policy. One sort of wonders why they are friends with the world's biggest power nerd, but I guess high school is a very strange time, so I can sort of see it. Brandy gets a job as a lifeguard at a local pool for the summer (naturally her crush Rusty and also the boy who likes HER Cameron are also working there, where else would anyone work ever right RIGHT VIEWERS?!) and hijinks ensue.

I am so turned on right now... : /
By hijinks what I actually mean is a series of bizarre and deeply awkward sexual encounters of varying degrees, with a variety of individuals. A guy gets jerked off in a movie theater, loudly and there is imitation butter involved. There is awkward making out and dry humping. A guy performs oral on Brandy and they are interrupted by his younger brother. You are getting the picture by now. I saw a lot of complaints about how the movie is vulgar, which obviously you can deduce that it is. Absolutely. However it also is very genuine in its portrayal of the excruciating awkwardness of teen sexual identity (at least from my own repressed memories on the subject). I certainly wasn't playing the field with the reckless abandon Brandy demonstrates, but I do remember everything being incredibly awkward, so that was spot on. If you go into a movie that is comedic and also about sex, I don't know how you expect it to not fall under the header of "vulgar". It wasn't the funniest movie I've ever seen, but it wasn't the shittiest comedy I've ever seen, and frankly I've seen a LOT of really horrendous movies in that genre (please refer to everything ever made by Happy Madison Productions). Considering the very modest budget it was made on (1.5 mil) I think that the movie had a lot of talent on hand (Clark Gregg as Brandy's hyper awkward and conservative dad in particular was pretty good), and I was not fantasizing about being somewhere else, so I put that in the win category.

Beware of the Skort!
Scanning the negative reviews, I saw a lot of people complaining about how offensive or unromantic a lot of the things happening are, and again I'm just wondering what they were expecting. I don't know if like the film was tarnishing their rose tinted memories of how meaningful and magical their high school make-outs were, but I feel like maybe they need a reality check. I can agree that some of the gross-out gags were cheap shots aimed low, and didn't land (I frankly think most gross out gags are lame to begin with) and the characterization falls dramatically, wildly short of deep (but that's hardly surprising especially for a comedy) but the writing is clever and the movie is well acted and I think that as usual people were examining this movie for virtue as if they were watching fucking Argo or something. Maybe if they didn't take everything so gravely serious, they would have had a less awkward adolescence (probably not).

These are Brandy's friends who work at Generic FastFood.
Anyway, I think you can deduce from the subject matter whether or not you'll enjoy this movie. It's gross, awkward and bizarre, but not taking itself too serious, and if you find yourself with some space in your schedule, I imagine there are worse things you could be watching, and by imagine I mean know, and by worse things I mean After Earth.

That's it for today! Join me again next week for more information about my teenage years you didn't want, and more movie opinions you never asked for.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Project Wonderful Ad