By: Katy Kleinginna (Three Beers) –
Writer/Director Maggie Carey makes her wide release silver screen début with The To Do List, starring Aubrey Plaza (Brooke Klark), Bill Hader (Willy), and Rachel Bilson(Amber Klark). Plaza’s character, the “valedictorian with the highest recorded GPA in the school’s history”, finishes high school as one of the few remaining untouched virgins. Setting out to change her sexual status, Brooke makes a list of sexual acts she hopes to commit by the time she enters college. Brooke’s complete lack of carnal knowledge is the driving force behind the making of the list, so she enlists the help of her “slutty oompa loompa” friends to make the list as extensive as possible. Other than the star leading cast, other rising stars (Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Donald Glover) provide hilarious commentary as supporting characters.
The To Do List takes place in the summer of 1993 and serves as a solid nod to the 90’s era teen sex romps.
Teen flicks are often lame, crass, and unrealistic, but Maggie Carey managed to truthfully portray how awkward sexual encounters and conversations can be in a brutally honest manner. Characters are inundated with lingo they fail to understand and hilarity ensues as they try to figure out what the hype is all about.
Willy (Hader) co-stars as the manager of the pool employing Brooke for the summer and serves as a burnt out father figure for the teens he drunkenly supervises. Willy’s maturity is sparse, but his wisdom peeks through when he finally understands the level of discourse Brooke’s list could cause in the long run. Hader’s character is important because of how little parenting the actual parents in the film seem to do.
Brooke’s mother is overtly sexual and her father is a shy prude. Let the eye rolling commence!
Parents and children are equally skeeved out by the infamous “sex talks”, but some parents barrel through and have frank discussions about safety and education. Brooke’s mother (Connie Britton) on the other hand provides her children with orgasm advice, condoms, and the same type of lube she used to “lose it to.” The conversations between mother and daughter are a crude, unfunny mix between Mean Girls and Shameless.
After being married to his wife for over 20 years, Brooke’s father discovers his wife did not lose her virginity to him and is finally able to hear the story of her “swiping her v-card.” Movies require a certain amount of suspended disbelief from viewers, but the despairing levels of sexuality between the married couple is not only awkward, but completely unrealistic.
Despite the father’s inability to discuss sexuality with his wife, he seems nearly intrigued each time (yes, there’s more than one time) he walks in on his daughter’s sexual escapades. Standing in the doorway, awkwardly gazing at his nude daughters is mortifying for the daughters and viewers alike.
Despite the cringe-worthy parent sexuality scenes, The To Do List has some stand-out moments. The characters (mostly) are honest and have genuine wisdom to spread to anyone willing to listen. If you can stomach the over the top parent scenes, this movie is a great popcorn flick.
Take a Drink: whenever pop ups happen indicating a list item has been crossed off
Take a Drink: for each NBC alumni appearance
Do a Shot: “But her dad is a judge!”