In the decade plus since “American Pie” was released, the teenage sexual discovery adventure has been re-told, re-hashed and re-vamped. But very rarely has it been so centered on the female experience. “The To Do List” is the answer to that.
Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) is a type-A personality, recently graduated high school valedictorian, and outside her books and meticulous planning, knows next to nothing about the world. The summer before college, Brandy decides to check something else off her list: losing her virginity to Rusty Waters. But first, she needs to build up the experience and between choosing random partners and working at the local pool, Brandy works through her list, leaving chaos behind her, as well as realizing that sex may be more complex than she thought.
“The To Do List” isn’t a chick flick or a romantic comedy. It can keep pace with the likes of “Superbad” in the raunch department, with the lack of nudity emphasizing a message rather than objectifying the female protagonist.
Another plus for the movie is the setting, the year of 1993, where Brandy is embarking on this adventure when she can’t simply Google her questions. She has to learn through experience and mistakes.
I loved this movie for more than the fact that it was a female driven sex-positive movie. Underneath the appearances of the movie, is the message that curiosity and self-discovery are all apart of growing up, and it’s what you do with the information that defines you. There was a sincerity and connection with the characters that helps to drive the film.
The movie also hysterically stars Connie Britton and Clark Gregg as Brandy’s parents. Gregg plays the easily shocked judge and Britton the open minded nurse, with Rachel Bilson playing Brandy’s wild child older sister.
I give this movie an A. It is rated R for strong sexual content, drug and alcohol use all involving teens. It may not be a family film by any means, but definitely worth seeing.