Wednesday, December 08, 2010

“I refuse to be embarrassed by a car that looks like a Trapper Keeper.”

2008’s Sex Drive gets judged a lot by its title. After all, it kind of indicates that its going to be a raunchy teen sex comedy along the lines of Superbad, full of awkward teens trying to get laid. Having seen Sex Drive, that’s really not what its about. I mean, it is, but its not, but it is, but its not. Its a kind of Shroedinger's Cat situation.

Ian (Josh Zuckerman) is a senior in High School, a nice, fairly shy guy and still a virgin. He’s not happy about this, but there is a spot of hope in his self-conscious life: He’s been chatting up a hot blonde online who goes by the handle “Ms. Tasty” (Katrina Bowden). He’s been lying about being on the football team and owning a badass car to her and she (if it is a she) invites him to Tennessee to “give her the D,” as it were. Ian ultimately decides to go through with it, and steals his older brother Rex’s (James Marsden in an epic show of scene stealing hamminess) Pontiac GTO “The Judge” and drive down from Illinois to Tennessee with his best friend Lance (Clark Duke). Along the way, his hot female (Friendzone) friend Felecia (Amanda Crew) joins them and they set off on the road for ADVENTURE!

Along the way they run into Ezekiel (Seth Green) an incredibly sarcastic Amish man who knows a great deal about car repair and cameos by Brian Posehn and David Koechner (trust me, you’ve seen/heard them before)

Directed by Sean Anders, the movie certainly looks fine but doesn’t have a whole lot of “gee that’s awesome/new” visual elements. It is however, a solidly told road movie with a lot episodic moments that all kind of come together. Also, that donut costume you see on the poster? Yeah, that gets used in a really hilarious way.

Screenplay by Sean Anders and John Morris, based on the book “All The Way” by Andy Behrens. The story certainly IS about sex, but its also, interestingly, about exploring teen angst, sexual frustration, shyness and lots of other not-exactly-raunchy concepts. There’s a lot going on under the surface of this movie, and I appreciate that. Also, it makes the Amish cool and Rumpspringa really funny.

Original music by Stephen Trask. We’ve also got Fall Out Boy appearing as themselves at the Amish party. And The Judge appropriately enough gets AC/DC associated with it.

I really enjoyed Sex Drive. A lot. It’s a surprisingly heartfelt examination of teen angst about virginity and a look at relationships and the lengths people will go to for some really stupid reasons. That’s high school in a nutshell right there. It doesn’t hurt that the movie is wickedly funny as well. Sadly, the movie didn’t find an audience in theaters, and I’m noticing a curious trend about modern comedies that the ones I enjoy the hell out of are the ones that don’t find an audience in theaters, while the ones that DO prove to be commercial giants (like The Hangover, which I thought was just okay), I’m significantly lukewarm about. Okay, I realize that I sound like a major snob right now and I’ll stop.

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