If you don’t want to spend the last July weekend seeing The Wolverine in theaters, then perhaps you’ll consider watching another, very different kind of movie that’s out on the same day. The To-Do List is a teen sex comedy from writer-director Maggie Carey, which stars Aubrey Plaza as Brandy Clark, an organised and ambitious high school graduate who decides to build up an arsenal of sexual experience in preparation for her first year of college, after her peers tease her relentlessly for being a virgin.
The To-Do List appears to be the antithesis of Will Gluck’s 2010 comedy Easy A, in which Emma Stone played a high school student who becomes a social pariah after intentionally starting a rumor that she has lost her virginity. Generally in teen sex comedies it’s male characters who are jeered at for being virgins, so The To-Do List could theoretically put a clever spin on the stereotype.
The new green-band trailer probably won’t do anything to change your mind about The To-Do List if you were unimpressed by the red band trailer. It’s difficult not to feel a sense of trepidation at the strong implication that the ‘Brandy writes down the name of a sexual act but doesn’t understand what it means’ joke will be driven into the ground and then hit over the head with a shovel to make sure it’s completely dead. Are we really supposed to believe that this girl is smart enough to become class valedictorian, but not smart enough to guess that a sexual act called “motorboating” probably doesn’t involve an actual motorboat, or that a “pearl necklace” might not be all that elegant?
That’s not the only gag that’s been repeated within the trailers. There have also been two scenes already that show a family member accidentally walking in on a sex act, something that stopped being automatically funny long before it became a cliché. Jokes like these might still get a few chuckles out of a teen audience, but unfortunately a lot of teens will be too young to see the movie anyway.
Having said that, one thing that The To-Do List has going for it is a great cast. Brandy’s parents are played by Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson in the Marvel cinematic universe) and American Horror Story‘s Connie Britton, and also features current comedy stars Andy Samberg, Bill Hader and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Aubrey Plaza herself showed a talent for deadpan humor in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and indie drama Safety Not Guaranteed, and the presence of Donald Glover alone might make this movie worth at least a rental.
Does The To-Do List look like something you’ll see in the theater, something you’ll save for rental or Netflix, or the kind of movie that you’d change channels to avoid?
The To Do List is in theaters on July 26th, 2013.