VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The To Do List (2013)

Claire: 5/5 stars, 8.8/10.
Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.6/5 stars Netflix, 5.7/10 IMDB.

Could this perhaps be the female American Pie 1? I think that might be a good way to describe this movie! A girl makes a list of sexual things she needs to try before she gets to college. Hilarity ensues. Very similar to American Pie 1, except it’s a list of sex acts instead of just getting laid, and it’s just one person doing it instead of 4 people doing it.

This wasn’t quite as funny as American Pie 1, but it was pretty goddamn funny! It wasn’t action-packed or caper-packed — it was situational, and sexual. But constantly funny.

And the casting…. Grrrrrrrrreat! I’ve always thought Aubrey Plaza was pretty hot, but she’s never been hotter than in this movie (though I do wish she had boobs). She is presented as an actual sexual being instead of simply being the deadpan comedy relief.

Casting Aubrey was interesting because I feel like she lacked explicit sexuality in her previous career. She always had that aloof, deadpan, emotionless, slightly annoyed look to her. Was it the stroke she had about a decade ago before her acting career took off?

This detached look worked against her overt sexuality, but created a hypothetical repressed sexuality–which sometimes leaves a little more wiggle room for the imagination. So seeing someone like this become a full, actualized sexual being …. Was utterly perfect casting. It’s like the movie was made for Aubrey. Someone funnier or prettier wouldn’t have been as good. (And don’t get me wrong, I think Aubrey is both. I’m saying she’s so perfect for this role that even someone with more talent than her wouldn’t have been able to do it as well.)

Plot-wise, It was a bit annoying during the formulaic conflict when the friends got really bent out of shape over something trivial, but I guess that’s how teenage relations are. But it wasn’t really annoying, since this movie kept the comedy going full strength for the entire length of the movie.

I wish all movies could be this fun.

Written & Directed by Maggie Carey…. And what a cast!

The chicks:
Starring Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Mystery Team, Funny People, The Legend Of Korra [6 eps], Portlandia [3 eps], NTSF:SD:SUV & Drunk History [1 ep each]) as Brandy Klark.
Alia Shawkat (Maeby Funke in Arrested Development, Prom Wars: Love Is A Battlefield, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV) as Fiona, Brandy’s wild friend.
Sarah Steele as Wendy, Brandy’s slightly less wild friend.
Rachel Bilson (the movie Jumper, 1 ep of That 70s Show, MADtv, & Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as Amber, the hot sister.

The dudes:
Johnny Simmons (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Jennifer’s Body) as Cameron.
Scott Porter (Cyclops in the English version of the X-Men anime, Speed Racer, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Rusty Waters, the hot crush.
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Superbad, The Brothers Solomon, Men In Black 3, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Year One, Adventureland, 7 eps of The Venture Bros., 4 eps of The Human Giant, 2 eps of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, 2 eps of South Park, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Willy, the boss.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad, How To Train Your Dragon, This Is the End, Kick-Ass 2, Movie 43, Fright Night, Year One) as Duffy.
Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live, Grown Ups 2, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I Love You Man, 4 eps of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad, 1 ep of Adventure Time, 1 ep of The Sarah Silverman Program) as Van.
Donald Glover (Mystery Team, 1 ep of The Human Giant, 1 ep of Adventure Time) as Derrick.

The parents:
Connie Britton (Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010), 6 eps of 24, 1 ep of Drunk History) as Mrs. Klark, Brandy’s mom.
Clark Gregg (“His first name is Agent” Coulson from the Iron Man movies, Thor, The Avengers, and the shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ultimate Spider-ManA.I. Artificial Intelligence, Magnolia, 88 eps of The New Adventures Of Old Christine) as Judge Klark, Brandy’s dad.