It’s a little too silly to sustain a significant character journey, but “The To Do List” is still a successful overload of nostalgic and incredibly raunchy humor.
Brandy (Aubrey Plaza) is graduating high school as the class valedictorian, but she’s bossy, socially awkward and, worst of all, sexually inexperienced. When her friends Fiona and Wendy (Alia Shawkat and Sarah Steele) force her to go to a normal party, Brandy catches a glimpse of college hottie Rusty Waters (Scott Porter) and is determined to make him her first. But before she can make the leap and accomplish full-blown sex, she’s got to build up her resume with things like hand jobs, blowjobs, dry humping, cunnilingus, and more.
It’s a little tough to buy that someone as bright as Brandy, and also someone with friends like Fiona and Wendy would ever think completing a massive to do list of sexual feats with anyone and everyone available is a smart and safe idea, but it works because “The To Do List” doesn’t hold back in the least. From the moment the opening credit start rolling and 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny” kicks in, you get a sense of what you’re in for.
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On the weekend that every cinematic action hero hits the big screen in just one film, The Expendables, how can moviegoers be expected to accept Michael Cera as just as much of a hero? Thanks to the ingenious filmmaking techniques of Edgar Wright, some may find that Cera is more of a leading man than any of those muscled up stars. Cera isn’t given CGI biceps, but the film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series, Scott Pilgrim, is packed with the most fantastic kind of digital effects, ones that actually enhance the film. However, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World isn’t a flick that relies on a sole asset; it’s a success and innovative achievement on every front.
Scott Pilgrim is the perfect role for Cera. He’s a musician, he’s geeky, has lady issues and frequently mumbles amusing nonsense. To his friends’ and sister’s dismay, Scott’s dating “a 17-year-old Chinese schoolgirl” named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Scott’s into her, but she’s clearly on the juvenile side. When he invites her to check out his band, Sex Bob-Omb, she becomes their very first groupie. His bandmates, Kim Pine and Stephen Stills (Alison Pill and Mark Webber), and their friend and wannabe Sex Bob-Omb, Young Neil (Johnny Simmons), aren’t thrilled but tolerate Scott’s baggage. Then there’s Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) and snarky sister Stacey (Anna Kendrick) who both insist Scott grow up and ditch Knives.
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