Nothing original in this typical screwball comedy
A movie about a guy meeting a girl over the internet and then traveling 500 miles just so he can lose his virginity to her? Sounds like "Road Trip" and "American Pie" just had a baby. Perhaps it's also a cousin of "EuroTrip." Either way, it doesn't take a genius to figure out "Sex Drive" is just another typical teenage movie, complete with lots of gross humor and nudity galore.
Ian (Josh Zuckerman) is a shy, awkward 18-year-old who just can't seem to get a girlfriend. His buddy Lance (Clark Duke) asserts that the way to a girl's heart is by acting cool and flippant but Ian is just unable to channel his inner bad boy – unless he's online. Enter "Ms. Tasty," a girl – or at least he hopes so – Ian met on the internet. After months of chatting, "Ms. Tasty" invites Ian down to Knoxville and promises to go "all the way" with him. Although greatly excited about the prospect of finally losing it, Ian is at first hesitant to drive all the way from Illinois to Tennessee. But Lance finally convinces him to go, and Ian steals his brother's 1969 GTO Judge and takes Lance and his other friend Felicia (Amanda Crew) along on the road trip of a lifetime.
"Sex Drive" is essentially one predictable sequence after another. The punch lines of every gag and kooky adventure during the trip are predictable and leave no surprises. The movie also relies far too much on physical comedy and in-your-face exploitation of body parts just for some shocked laughs - always the easy and safe route that such comedies take. Viewers quickly grow tired of bare derrières and poop humor and look toward the dialogue for laughs, only to be disappointed by the uninspired script. A more successful comedy would have attempted to achieve a balance between slapstick and dialogue.
Most of the characters are passable, but the one character that just seems out of place is Lance. He is portrayed as a suave, debonair lothario but his dorky and chubby image confuses the audience and distracts from his intended character. In fact, based on external appearance only, the hopeless Ian seems more likely to be a womanizer than Lance does. Maybe it was the moviemakers' intention to portray the character of Lance in this peculiar light, thinking that it would add humor, but it just didn't work.
Admittedly, "Sex Drive" does have its funny moments. Many of the jokes, although not very original, are mildly amusing and Seth Green has a well-played cameo as a sarcastic Amish mechanic. James Marsden is another joy in this movie, playing the part of Rex, the macho older brother, to a T. Yes, it's been done before but after a long line of movies like "Enchanted" and "Hairspray," Marsden's CV makes his new role all the more hilarious. In the end, however, Green and Marsden aren't enough to save this cliché of a film.
There are two things to ask when deciding to see this movie. Is it funny? Oh, sure. Would you get the same exact thing with "American Pie" or any other similar movie? Definitely.
Sex Drive (109 minutes) is rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, language, some drug and alcohol use - all involving teens. Now playing in theaters everywhere.
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