Sex Drive

by | Feb 24th, 2009 | 8:00AM | Filed under: DVD Reviews

SexDrive_2206 I know I sound like I'm getting older when I say this — which I am, I assure you, and yet no one wants to ever say that out loud — but I have to think that, at some point in the past 10 years, the teen sex comedy, as a genre, underwent a kind of inflation I can only compare to the arms race, as the payloads of comedic raunch they carried inflated and expanded in the name of overkill. In the post-American Pie teen sex comedy landscape, it felt like movies were knocking themselves out to be more risqué, more raw, more rude; the problem was that the people behind these crusades to become more crude often didn't bother to make their films more funny. If naked body parts, in and of themselves, were hilarious, then doctors would be in a state of constant hysteria; if humiliation equaled comedy, then the halls of every high school would ring with laughter. Neither of these things, however, are true. …

So it is a relief to find Sex Drive, a new-school teen sex comedy, is not only bolder and blunter than many of its peers but is also, thankfully, actually funnier — as our hero and his friends drive cross-country in pursuit of nooky, the film itself is in fact driven by character; as our heroes meet wacky supporting characters and get in uncomfortable situations, the characters they meet are actually funny and the situations they get into have something to do with the plot. No one is going to confuse Sex Drive with Citizen Kane, but for what it is — a smutty, silly, slapdash comedy — it manages more than a few laughs in between the naughty bits.

The plot of Sex Drive is a fairly classic one as these things go, which is the polite way of saying it's stolen from a number of other films — Ian (Josh Zuckerman) has been conducting a slightly dishonest internet romance with a girl he knows only as 'Ms. Tasty." Ian is not, in fact, on the football team, nor does he look like his muscle-bound photo, but when Ms. Tasty says she'd like to meet him, Ian inadvisably steals his meathead brother's prized car and goes cross-country with rumpled rogue Lance (Clarke Duke) and cute-but-unattainable best pal Felecia (Amanda Crew) in a minty-looking '69 Pontiac GTO. …

And you can pretty much predict every twist and turn in the plot from that; Ian's journey is pretty much the same as that taken by John Cusack in The Sure Thing, only with a lot more genital jokes. Lance, the shabby sex-crazed ladies' man, will find true love and hot sex. Felecia will have to come to terms with her feelings for Ian even as he's getting on the road in the name of getting on Ms. Tasty. And Ms. Tasty will, in fact, not be who she seems.
But, as Ian drives miles in the name of action, we too also find the voyage is about the journey and not the destination.

Zuckerman makes Ian awkward and fallible; Duke makes Lance magnetically repellent; Crew turns Amanda from a cliché into a nicely spun turn on what could have been a thankless role. With James Marsden as Ian's bullying, beefy brother and Seth Green as — bizarrely, hilariously — an Amish man with hidden capacities for automotive repair and sarcasm, there's more smarts in Sex Drive's supporting cast than there had to be, too, even if it's concealed behind breasts, body parts and potty talk. The welcome news is that Sex Drive has enough sweetness to cut the sauciness; you buy Ian, Lance and Felecia as real friends, and you get the since that Ian's more interested in fitting in than getting it on.

Director Sean Anders and his co-writer John Morris provide commentary on the DVD, and it's as rambling, random and rude as the film itself — ranging between discussions of the challenges of the shoot and foul-mouthed digressions, but they make it entertaining. Sex Drive isn't the high-water point of teen sex comedies — it's not as super-good as Superbad — but at least it has a movie under the over-the-top comedy.


6 Responses to “Sex Drive

  1. Tricia Gillaspy
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

    This movie is one of the all time best, teen sex movies ever. My husband & I laughed our butt’s off to this. It is a must see & defiantely even worth purchasing. I loved it.

  2. april
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I liked this movie ,very funny ,all teen movie,crazy,hilarous,it had alot of things happeing at one time which kepte the people hanging on to their seats.

  3. Dana
    Posted on March 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I liked this movie, but I must say by the end I was a little tired of seeing penis and balls. It was funny until some random nude scene “popped up!!” A little overkill in most of the scenes. Guess kids go from farting and burping in animated movies to over-the-top sex noises and scenes. It was funny, but I will not go out of my way to see it again.

  4. CyLexxx
    Posted on March 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I have to disagree with the review and the other comments here. There were a few good laughs in this movie, mostly at the beginning and end. It was too long and drawn out, not as good as Superbad. Seth Green was terrific as the Amish guy with attitude, tho!

  5. martin k
    Posted on March 7, 2009 at 3:05 am

    note that there are two versions of the film. I wholeheartedly agree with the reviewer about the rated version. I accidently watched this version because the double sided disk was mislabeled. When I watched the unrated version I found it much raunchier and a little less likable in addition to being more than 30 minutes longer. This is one case where less is more.

  6. Locke Peterseim
    Posted on March 7, 2009 at 11:02 am

    James, you get all the good DVD assignments! First My Best Friend’s Girl, now Sex Drive!
    I caught up with this last night and was howling all the way — I went with the unrated version (’cause I like things as rude and crude as possible) and I admit the extra running length did have me checking the clock once or twice.
    But Marsden was magnificent — a hopped up version of the old, fun, manic Brad Pitt we used to see on occasion (12 Monkeys, Snatch) and still catch a glimpse of in Burn After Reading and hopefully in Inglourious Basterds.
    And while I’ve always loved Seth Green, sometimes a little Seth goes a long way — but his sarcastic Amishman was note perfect all the way through. (As much as I dearly love Kingpin, it was nice to see a funny Amishman who wasn’t just played as a clueless boob.)
    This one and My Best Friends Girl have earned themselves hallowed spots on my shelf of Really Stupid, Obnoxious, Kinda Sweet Crude Comedies I Pull Down on Rainy Days for Easy Laughs.