19 November 2013 | Slasher_Lover23
Too Much Gross Humor, Not Enough Heart
When Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) , the class scholar and all around nerd, decides to become more sexually experienced before going off to college, she makes herself a to do list to help her work her way up to losing her virginity. Along the way, Brandy gets a job at the local pool in order to gain the attention of Rusy (Scott Porter), while also being lusted by her friend Cameron (Johnny Simmons). With the help of her friends Fiona (Alia Shawkat) and Wendy (Sarah Steele), and sexually experienced older sister Amber (Rachel Bilson), Brandy goes gets a crash course on the road to sexuality.
In this 90s-era film, The To Do List tries to follow in the footsteps of teen sex comedies like American Pie and Superbad, but in the end it fails to even be on the same level as these films. The film definitely features its share of comedic moments that can be pretty funny, but ultimately it gets carried away by its over-abundance of crude and gross out moments that even the two aforementioned films kept a handle on. The problem is, the story clearly wants to give some heart and moral to the story, but the crudeness really prevents it from showing until the very end where it's clearly written out. It fails to let it's real intentions shine through by trying to throw in every graphic sexual situation or conversation that they can come up with. And it really hurts the film. A majority of the funny moments even come from the non-gross out moments.
On a positive note, the film features a great back drop of several 90s songs that really fill the setting, and provide a great treat to listen to. After viewing this film, the viewer will never be able to listen to Dreams by The Cranberries the same way ever again.
Apart from the soundtrack, the star-filled cast also saves the film from being a complete flop. Aubrey Plaza does provide some great comical moments as the nerdy and awkward protagonist. Scott Porter as the rocker stud also gets his shot of showing his comical side after his stretch of dramatic t.v. roles. Some of the major stand outs include Connie Britton and Clark Gregg as Brandy's parents who are very blunt as far as sex. These two definitely provide a lot of the major comical moments of the film. The whole cast does a well-done job with what they are given and they appear to have a fun time doing it (no pun intended).
I can't say The To Do List is an awful film, but it's pretty weak one as far as the story goes with more interest in having more gross out humor than anything else. But the soundtrack and its fun cast do a fine job of making up for its shortcomings.
My Rating: 5/10