The To Do List

"Very Good"

The To Do List Review


Even as this comedy strains to be goofy and transgressive, it catches us by surprise simply because it dares to explore first-time sexual experiences through female eyes. And Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed) brings her usual sardonic wit to the lead role, merrily offending the more timid moviegoers while making more adventurous fans wish the film went even further.

Plaza plays Brandy, who graduated at the top of her Boise high school class. But with that goal achieved, she wonders if she neglected to prepare properly for university social life, so she makes a summer to-do list of sex-related tasks leading, hopefully, to losing her virginity to the hunky guitar-strumming lifeguard Rusty (Porter). She works with him at the local swimming pool along with her nice-guy best pal Cameron (Simmons), who's of course secretly in love with her. But as Brandy works through the list with the help of her friends (Shawkat and Steele) and her experienced big sister (Bilson), she starts to worry that her emotions are getting in the way.

Thankfully, writer-director Carey refuses to let this turn into a romantic slush-fest, keeping the encounters jagged and often very funny. The script is packed with hilariously squirm-inducing conversations about sex, many involving Brandy's far too helpful mother (Britton). Although her dad (Gregg) and her loser boss (Hader) understandably don't want to know. Meanwhile, when the local guys (Glover and Mintz-Plasse) find out about Brandy's list, they are sure to tick off a few items themselves, as does a visiting rock star (Samberg).

Yes, all of this is very corny, but the underlying honesty about sexuality is refreshing, as the film playfully refuses make first-time sexual experiences into something earth-shattering. Indeed, the way Brandy approaches this as an academic task is very clever, as she doesn't take into account the intimacy involved. In the end, the film is both too cold and too nice for its own good. If filmmaker Carey had cut loose just a bit more, finding a sharper edge to what's essentially a nice comedy, this might have been an essential addition to the losing-your-virginity genre.



The To Do List

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th July 2013

Box Office USA: $3.4M

Distributed by: CBS Films

Production compaines: 3 Arts Entertainment, The Mark Gordon Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 55 Rotten: 51

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Maggie Carey

Producer: , , , Sharla Sumpter, , Greg Walter

Starring: as Brandy Klark, as Cameron, as Willy, as Fiona, as Wendy, as Rusty, as Amber, as Duffy, as Van, as Derrick, Adam Pally as Chip, as Judge Clark, as Mrs. Clark, as Max, as Hillcrest Pool Manager, D.C. Pierson as Hillcrest Lifeguard #1, Dominic Dierkes as Hillcrest Lifeguard #2, Bryce Clyde Jenkins as Benji, Kevin M. Brennan as Guitar Player (Van's Band), Lauren Lapkus as Girl Heckler

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.