THE TO DO LIST [2013] movie review

November 2, 2013 · Print This Article

I did not think I would be watching such a raunchy comedy when THE TO DO LIST [2013] started playing tonight. However, from the choice of opening song it was apparent this was not an innocent movie. Had I noticed beforehand it was Rated-R I would have been better prepared to see an innocent girl who just graduated from high school apply the same techniques she used to become valedictorian to lose her virginity.

I think THE TO DO LIST would have a very narrow audience it would appeal to. For some reason it is set in 1993, I am guessing that is about when writer/director Maggie Carey probably graduated. This made the movie have some nostalgia for me since I graduated in 1992. It also made it convenient for protagonist Brandy be so naive as in today’s Internet age such a graduating senior could not be possible. Not that it is not already apparent, but the Internet will become seen to be more and more a major, major point of demarcation in society. Cell phones really are what have ruined everything.

So I guess if you want your teen movie to have a sense of innocence, it has to be set prior to 1993.

Brandy does not remain innocent for long though as she creates a to do list of sexual terms she got from her far more experienced older sister, that she consults a print encyclopedia to explain, though of course no sexual slang terms are in it! So she picks boys to try these things out on in a very scientific way. Most of the boys don’t mind, though one who has liked her for years, Cameron, is hurt by her lack of caring.

Aubrey Plaza plays Brandy in a likable enough way so that the viewer goes along with her wacky way of gaining sexual experience. There just is not much depth to it all nor does it really have much momentum. There are a few laughs, but most of the time the script is trying to hard, especially when it tries to be unnecessarily gross.

I enjoyed WE’RE THE MILLERS last night much, much more. Those characters were really likable and had some depth and arc to them. THE TO DO LIST did not have enough.

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