The To-Do List is Off My To-Do List

"Freshman year at college is like one big sexual pop quiz. You need to do your homework." CBS Films

I love quirky chick flicks that straddle the line between hilarious and inappropriate so I thought The To-Do List would be my go-to flick of the summer.  The movie is about Brandy (played by Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza), an over-achieving high school grad who has accomplished a ton in her eighteen years but has yet to lose her virginity.  When Brandy meets hunky Rusty Waters at a graduation/keg party, she falls in lust and decides that she will swipe her V-Card for a night with the college boy.  Ever the perfectionist, Brandy decides that she has to gain experience before she conquers Rusty and creates a “to-do” list of sexual endeavors to check off before “popping that cherry.”

After seeing all the promos, I was excited to watch it on premiere night and … What a bust (haha)! The premise of the movie sounded promising enough.  With a woman director, I felt The To-Do List had the potential to be so much more than a  half-baked attempt to analyze the politics of teenage sex. The laughs were far and few for me but because I convinced my reluctant boyfriend to go, I chuckled a little to ease the sting of popcorn and ticket prices.  Don’t get me wrong— there were a few funny moments, but nothing Bridesmaids worthy.  And, although I knew The To-Do List would be a little outlandish, I was annoyed by how unlikely the situation seemed and how detached Plaza’s character was from reality.

I found the most humor in the movie came from its setting-- Boise, Idaho, an any-town of America, circa 1993.  Besides the abundance of hideous nineties style fashion (skorts, overalls, and shoulder pads) in The To-Do List, Brandy’s obsession with Hillary Rodham Clinton is pretty hilarious. (SPOILER ALERT: Brandy is staring at a poster of Hillary when she achieves her first orgasm!)  I also enjoyed the dynamics between Brandy and her best friends.  It was refreshing to see young women talk about sex in such a casual and shameless way… It was, dare I say, empowering?  Okay, I won’t go that far.  If anything, The To-Do List proves just how unsexy sex can be.

CBS Films