Sex DriveDirected by: Sean Anders Cast: Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke, James Marsden Time: 1 hr 45 mins Rating: R
Plot: Clumsy high school senior Ian (Zuckerman) steals his older brother's prized '69 Judge across the country to lose his virginity to online hottie Ms. Tasty (Katrina Bowden).
Who's It For? Not a far cry from last year's Superbad, Sex Drive is intended for a more mature teenage to young adult audience. Definitely leave the kids at home on this one to avoid a slew of uncomfortable moments.
Expectations: It's billed as the next teen gross-out flick, so it's easy to imagine that excessive profanity, over-the-top nudity and lots of sex jokes will be part of the equation. With all that debauchery, any actual storytelling would be a pleasant surprise.
Actors: Josh Zuckerman as Ian: Though he doesn't have Michael Cera's comic chops, Zuckerman shows he has similar "average-kid" charm. Ian is believably bumbling, sexually frustrated and harassed by his homophobic older brother. The story chronicles Ian's lowest and highest points as he stumbles into manhood, and Zuckerman keeps up. Score: 6
Amanda Crew as Felicia: She fits well as Ian's best friend (and the cool chick on whom he's secretly nursed and long-standing crush). She plays her character's flighty confusion about her feelings for Ian well enough, though she may just be the least memorable player in the movie. Score: 5
Clark Duke as Lance: The designated scene-stealer, Lance serves as the catalyst for many of their road trip misadventures (including hooking up with a gloomy gas station clerk and getting much more than he bargains for). Though his character is the least relatable, Duke is certainly one of the most entertaining to watch. Score: 7
James Marsden as Rex: Though unexpected, Marsden's casting as super-charged power tool Rex pays off in the end. His constant use of homophobic slurs is off-putting at first, even if we know we're not supposed to like him. It isn't his most likable role, but Marsden shows he knows exactly what to do with it. Score: 8
Talking: Since quotable hits like Superbad have changed audience's expectations of teen comedies, the newest batch are full of memorable one liners and raunchy sex references. The verbal jokes aren't as sticky as those in Superbad, but the visuals make up for it. Score: 6
Sights & Sounds: Sex Drive pulls no punches in favor of scoring cheap and dirty laughs. From a wild night in an Amish farming village during Rumspringa to a climactic showdown involving a pissed-off car thief and a giant donut costume, Sex Drive proves films that don't feature Seth Rogen or Jonah Hill can still deliver. Score: 8
PLOT SPOILERS Best Scene: After a particularly obscene sex toy is stuck to the front of his conspicuous work uniform by a prankster, an unknowing Ian approaches a father and daughter in the mall offering them coupons for free donuts. His doomed pitch — "I've got something yummy for your little girl!" — has hilarious results.
Ending: The story builds toward an ending that you expect to go one of two ways—but to the audience’s delight, it actually shoots off in a direction entirely unexpected. The characters each find their proper love matches, and even though the final montage promises no long-term happy endings, the film couldn't have cut out at a more perfect moment.
Questions: How did Lance schmooze his way into Amish favor so quickly? What happens when Ian and Felicia head off to college in a matter of months? (Even Superbad dealt with that sore subject.) Though the film isn't substantive enough to leave any burning questions, it does neglect to properly explain some chronological head-scratchers.
Rewatchability: Definitely. It moves quickly enough for repeated viewings to yield plenty of new laughs. And the DVD extras are likely to be well-worth the purchase.
OVERALL Sex Drive takes the new generation of teen comedies—that is, the "super-relatable" Judd Apatow brand—and ratchets up the raunchy. This makes it thoroughly satisfying in a pleasantly familiar sort of way. Though predictable, it's still funny enough for that to be more than forgivable.
Final Score: 7/10