In the end, The To-Do List will just be known for Aubrey Plaza‘s first lead role in a film, and nothing more.
Huh, that sentence would have made more sense at the end of the review, but I think it is too late now. Now the bias is set. Now you know where I am going with it. Oh well.
But I guess you already knew the movie might suck.
Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) is your typical Boise, Idaho native. Her parents are pretty strict (Clark Gregg, Connie Britton), because her dad is a judge, so she was raised correctly. It is 1993, no internet to corrupt her, so she became Valedictorian of her graduating class. But she never really learned anything about sex or the human body. Only what she was told by her “slutty” friends (Alia Shawkat, Sarah Steele).
But after being forced into a college party, she sees someone. Rusty Waters (Scott Porter), an older guy, playing guitar. Oh em gee, so dreamy!
In fact, he almost has sex with her on accident. Oh snap! But he still doesn’t. She thinks it is because she isn’t an expert at sex, despite being an expert at everything else she does. So she makes a list of things to do over the summer, to elevate herself to sexual maturity, so that one day she can have sex with Rusty Waters. No matter who gets in the way.
Like her friend Cameron (Johnny Simmons) who clearly likes her. Also in the movie is Bill Hader as the pool owner, Rachel Bilson as the older more experienced sister, Donald Glover as a token black guy, and Andy Samberg as some local band guy.
See, there he is. At a House Party. Looking like Kid.
Really, just really, I got the feeling that no one really tried in this movie. Let me take a step back.
Aubrey Plaza does not act the same way she does in Parks and Rec, and other live interviews. That is presumably how she is. No, this character isn’t brooding, or sarcastic. It is just a overachieving girl, who wants a boy. So there is definitely acting in this movie.
It was definitely going for comedy, because it had a few amusing moments and a lot of shenanigans ended up happening. But nothing really struck a chord with me. IMDB tells me everyone is over 25 playing teens as part of the joke, but it isn’t a good joke. Why? Because that happens all the time. If they wanted to make that real joke, they should have gone even older. Make it super awkward.
Some situations were “Sex-awkward” which I guess is the main selling point. Virgins doing stuff! A nice girl being “slutty!” Oh the humanity. I will admit they were the most amusing part of the film, but even they fell short to me. But hey, Clark Gregg is in this movie. As a Conservative Judge! That sure is nifty.
In the end, The To-Do List will just be known for Aubrey Plaza’s first lead role in a film, and nothing more.
1 out of 4.