Movie News & Reviews

Teen farce 'Sex Drive' stalls till last 10 minutes

You don't know how much it pains me to write anything about "Sex Drive," another teen sex farce that, as always, I didn't hear much demand for.

This is even more painful considering that we were blessed last year with the far-superior, far-funnier "Superbad," which put every teen sex farce that came before it to utter shame.

You would think that if more of these movies are going to be made, the films would step up their game instead of cowering in that movie's shadow.

But alas, some genre flicks are gonna stick with the formula, no matter how badly it turns out.

Certainly, you know how this goes: Chicago teen/all-around loser Ian (Josh Zuckerman) desperately wants to lose his virginity. So he takes a road trip to Knoxville to meet up with his instant-messaging buddy, an allegedly smokin' blonde who goes by Ms. Tasty, in the hopes that he'll finally get to do the deed.

He steals his brother's '69 GTO with his best friends -- lady-killing cad Lance (Clark Duke, baby-faced, shaggy-haired and unexpressive) and platonic girlfriend Felicia (Amanda Crew, looking way too hot to be hanging out with these spazzes) -- in tow.

Along the way, the trio goes through a series of comically humiliating situations (many of them involve nudity and various forms of body waste).

Meanwhile, they deal with their romantic feelings (Ian is hopelessly sprung on Felicia, who is inexplicably smitten with Lance) and ultimately come to the conclusion that -- surprise! -- sex is truly great if you share it with someone you love.

Yeah. OK, whatever.

"Sex Drive," based on Andy Behrens' 2006 novel "All the Way," which was also released in a "splashproof edition," goes through its motions at an agonizingly obvious pace. It's apparent that co-writer/director Sean Anders is making his own version of Todd Phillips' equally lowbrow "Road Trip."

However with its grating, 108-minute length, "Sex Drive" goes a long way, peppering its journey with pitifully broad asides to get to its predictable outcome.

In fact, the last 10 minutes, where most of the characters convene in a parking lot for the ridiculous, hyperaccelerated climax, is actually funny enough to stick around for. Whether you want to sit through an hour and a half of the rest is up to you.

The climax and snarky performances by James Marsden (as Ian's alpha-male, motocross-racing brother) and Seth Green (as the world's most sarcastic Amish man), are the only things that keep "Sex Drive" from delving into complete awfulness.

But seriously, why do we need this film? While the movie clearly wants to be a throwback to the kind of bawdy sex romp you would have seen back in 1986 (Kenny Loggins' "Top Gun" theme "Danger Zone" is even used in the soundtrack), the plot and its gags carry the stench of stale datedness.

Just as you'd expect, "Sex Drive" goes nowhere but backward.