The To Do List is a vulgar tale of a valedictorian’s attempts to be more sexually experienced before she steps into college. This is a rare female-centric movie about losing one’s virginity. It has several raunchy gags in between funny scenes and forgettable fillers.
Aubrey Plaza plays the main character and her presence makes The To Do List likable from start to finish. It is released at the tail end of the blockbuster summer season and should easily score big for CBS Films. It is set in 1993 and brings back memories of the pre-Internet era.
Brandy (Aubrey Plaza) discovers that while she has been too busy with schoolwork, her classmates have been exploring their sexuality. She is such an overachiever that she also wants to start her own exploring.
She gets some pointers from her best friends Wendy (Sarah Steele) and Fiona (Alia Shawkat). She starts with dry humping, masturbation and oral sex as she sets her sights into having her cherry popped. She keeps her to-do list in her Trapper Keeper.
Brandy gets a summer job as a lifeguard at the community pool, where she meets good guy Cameron (Johnny Simmons) and the guitar strumming Rusty (Scott Porter). Both have become tools to Brandy’s list. This is a reversal of the usual roles in raunchy movies.
The To Do List is not the first movie of a teen girl wanting to become a woman. Director Maggie Carey brings a relaxed approach to the taboo subject and manages to demystify the sex act. Brandy’s goal becomes less significant as she nears it.
The To Do List could have been better if it connects with the viewers the same way the Farrelly brothers have done in the past. The betrayal in the movie is just skin deep. Plaza is the star of the show as she goes from one humiliating physical gag to another.