| The Red Right Hand
You know, I don't know how many 18 year old Americans really are afraid of being virgins. I mean, it's discussed endlessly in films; people are shunned, ridiculed and despised because of it but I don't know how much water that argument holds (especially in times of increasing teen pregnancies and blah blah, you've heard that rant before, I'll spare you). I did a bit of research into it... by that I mean I typed 18 year old virgins into google. Yeah, that... that didn't prove as helpful as I had first thought... stimulating but not very helpful. Anyway, according to cinema (and most other media outlets) it's just weedy young boys. That's it, everyone else is fucking and by the sounds of it have been doing so since the age of fourteen. If you don't know where I'm going with this, it's relevant to this film's plot - and if you haven't guessed from the title, the movie's core plot thread is about getting nekid and having some sexins.
Pathetically weedy, spineless teen, Ian [Zuckerman], is on a quest to relieve himself of the dead albatross hung around his neck that is his virginity. Unfortunately nobody wants to sleep with him... on account of him being nice to women. His bespectacled, slightly chubby friend Lance [Duke], however, is something of a ladies man, namely for the fact that he's mean to women - apparently women only like fascists. The other mental block in Ian's life is his unreturned adoration for his best friend, the rather beautiful Felicia [Crew]; who, like most women, has inexplicably fallen for Lance. Just a friendly little note for writers - most dorky guys don't have hot female friends. In his desperation, Ian has turned to the internet with a doctored photo of himself and a 'bitch, be cool' attitude; which successfully lands him the attention of Ms. Tasty [Katrina Bowden]. With the promise of guaranteed sex waiting in Knoxville, Tennessee, Ian steals his brother's prized '69 GTO Judge and takes a nine hour road trip to the South - a magical place of Christ, trailers, whiskey and all the dense-minded scantily clad women a young boy could hope for. Unfortunately for Ian (simply adding momentum to the plot), Felicia tags along under the false pretences that they are on a trip to see Ian's Grandmother. As with most coming-of-age road trips, it all comes down to the journey not the destination and people discover who they really are - the usual crap.
The thing that completely threw me is that after the first twenty minutes of gross-out humour and genre-typical observations, the film actually grows a heart and you almost start to invest in the characters on-screen - an uncommon element in films of this nature. So, on one hand we have this lewd, immature comedy about some dweeby kid getting his end away and on the other there's this heart-felt coming of age drama about acceptance of self. It's a shock, to be honest. Having said all that, at the end of the day, Sex Drive is still an incredibly childish film. I'm well aware that quite a few comparisons are going to be made to Superbad but to be honest, these virgin-teen-comedies aren't radically different from one another so these comparisons aren't greatly warranted.
With a relatively fast pace, attractive cast, successfully racy humour and obligatory boobage, Sex Drive will find a neat home with fans of this type of comedy. Make no mistake, this is far from a great film but when held up against other raunchy teen flicks (American Pie, Road Trip, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, etc) it stands out as one of the better releases.
9th January 2009
The Scene To Look Out For:
In between the gross-out start and the sappy ending, there was a strange lull in the middle. An almost indescribable unease that gripped me and wouldn't let go until Seth Green was off screen. To explain, Green plays this sarky, dry Amish bloke. For those outside of the States the Amish people are a group of religious (well, I wouldn't say fanatics) devotees who believe technology is an earthly sin… or something like that. Anyways, they live in the centre of America and are a point of ridicule by most of the country. Having broken down, our young trio find themselves stranded with the Amish folk while they happily fix their car for free. Luckily, it's Amish orgy day or something and everyone's drinking and smoking and having sex and flashing their breasts and... and... Fall Out Boy play a sweet gig that everyone loves; WOO! The whole thing reeked of stupidity.
James Marsden, not so much the character he plays but the actor himself. You see, Marsden is one of those amazingly annoying guys; he's a good-looking, talented actor who has managed to land a lot of major parts in various genre pieces in a plethora of mixed roles. See, this is Seth Rogen's problem; Marsden has played a superhero, marine, Prince Charming, 50's singing heartthrob (ok, they're not so different so far), nerdy journalist and now complete jock arsehole. It's the sort of bold, risky chances that few actors take and even fewer get away with. His character was also really dumb and on rare occasions, really dumb can be pretty funny... sometimes.
"You look like a Mexican butthole"
In A Few Words:
"John Hughes-esque Geek chic meets American Pie gross-out humour making for a surprisingly effective teen comedy"