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Sex Drive

The formula for a teen sex comedy is fairly simple. Horny teen needs to get laid. He and his crew have to drive far away to accomplish this and they get into wacky trouble on the way but our hero learns the true meaning of life. Or something like that…

Sex Drive is your typical teen sex comedy/road picture, taking a little bit of American Pie, Weird Science and The Sure Thing and following the formula to a “T.”

Some could argue that Sex Drive is nothing but a rip off of a lot of the popular teen movies of the last few years and others could argue that it’s nothing more than homage. Like any film with a formula, you can forgive the pattern if the execution is handled creatively and the delivery is fresh. Sex Drive does just that and luckily for me, I really enjoy the teen sex comedy in all its forms, and the movie excels at the genre to turn in a really fun, funny and enjoyably sweet entry.

Sex Drive is the story of poor suburban virgin Ian. Ian has a bedroom very reminiscent of Jason Biggs’ bedroom from the American Pie movies and he even has an internet girlfriend known only as Ms. Tasty.

Ian fantasizes about losing his innocence to Ms. Tasty and even loses a little of something else in a nocturnal endeavor while dreaming. This would be the awkward sexual embarrassment part of the teen comedy that American Pie and so many others have made a staple for these films. Amp up the awkwardness by throwing in Ian’s obnoxious older brother, Rex, (who is essentially a stand in for Bill Paxton’s Chet from Weird Science) who is constantly bullying poor Ian for his lack of masculinity, and you’ve got your self one heck of a typical teen movie household.

Rex is the proud owner of a 69 Pontiac GTO, also known as the Judge. He of course values his car more than he does his brother and of course we now have another plot device borrowed from such teen movies as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Risky Business.

Ian has a best friend and cohort in the super confident lady killer Lance. Lance isn’t necessarily the best looking dude, but he has a way with the ladies and he’s popular. Lance is the little voice in Ian’s ear, the devil on his shoulder and the model for all Ian thinks he wants to be.

The angel on Ian’s shoulder is Felicia. She’s anything but the cookie cutter cheerleader type and of course she’s Ian’s lifelong BFF. She has a crush on somebody Ian knows, but she however, knows nothing about Ms. Tasty.

When Ms. Tasty instant messages Ian about finally meeting, the promise of sex is guaranteed and so begins the quest for our young protagonist.

The rest of the movie plays out how you’d expect but like most good stories it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey.

Sex Drive takes the normal premises of most teen sex comedies and finds new, untapped gags that are fresh and funny, yet still remind us of the undeniable embarrassing truths of adolescence. The humor is typical gross out sex comedy, but it’s handled in such an honest and tender enough way that you can’t help but feel and share the awkwardness.

All our main characters are outcasts and dealing with their own problems. Once one dimensional arch types of the teen comedy they now have some depth and the B story gets a little more interesting.

Sex Drive is a raunchy and dirty teen sex comedy, but it’s also sweet and handles the teen problems with a sensitivity that makes us sympathize with our protagonist and root for him all the way.

The characters in Sex Drive are all likable. The main trio, Ian (Josh Zuckerman), Lance (Clark Duke) and Felicia (Amanda Crew) are relative unknowns and they fit together as the motley crew on a diluted mission. James Mardsen (X-Men, Superman Returns) is fantastic as Rex. He’s rude, lewd and crude and perfect as the foil to Ian’s schemes. Also good is teen sex comedy staple, Seth Green (Can’t Hardly Wait, Idle Hands, Robot Chicken) as unlikely Amish ally Ezekiel.

Based on the novel All the Way by Andy Behrens, the skeleton of Sex Drive’s plot is thin. However, it’s the meat that screenwriters Sean Anders and John Morris tack on in the form of scary hitchhikers, new step-moms, mid-west hook ups and Amish life that keep the film moving and full of laughs.

Sex Drive is a satisfying entry into the pantheon of the genre. Its fun, has good characters, and lots and lots of laughs. Oh yeah, and gratuitous sex and nudity. That right there should be enough, but if it isn’t, how about you just imagine it as American Ferris Science’s Super Bad Pie’s Day Off?


Lon Lopez

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