The To Do List follows the promiscuous summer of Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) as she tries to become more sexually experienced before college. Making her way through most of the boys in her small town, ticking them off on a list as she goes, the audience are subjected to an uncomfortable 104 minutes of fumbling sexual experiences and jokes that, whilst sometimes funny, are a little too direct.
We have seen this film before. High school girl in small town America, with embarrassing parents, tries to raise her social status in order to get the cool college guy. The thing that sets The To Do List apart – and not necessarily in a good way – is its crudity.
It seems that the writer Maggie Carey is trying to recreate a girly American Pie. However, the tone is always slightly off.
For some reason, the filmmakers decided to set the film in 1993, which they seem to enjoy executing. But we have seen too many of these movies (which were actually made in the 90’s) to believe that a pair of glasses can make a girl into a total loser. I find it very hard to believe that an actress as attractive as Plaza would not be able to get a man to sleep with her – with or without a to do list.
The main problem that I have with the film is the under-use of some great comedic performers. Aubrey Plaza becomes a typical teenage girl, although you get the feeling that she has the potential to be much funnier. Andy Samberg and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (best known as McLovin’ from Superbad) are severely underused. If their characters had been a little better written I’d have had less of a problem.
Bill Hader almost makes the whole thing bearable as homeless loser who owns the pool where Brandy works for the summer (insert teenage angst filled eye roll here) but he cannot quite save it.
Unless you really want to feel awkward and a little ill, I wouldn’t add seeing this film to your to do list any time soon.