The To Do List review

If you can overlook the fact that Plaza is simply too old to be playing a high school girl, then The To Do List delivers genuine laughs in impishly vulgar fashion. She plays straight-laced student Brandy, insufferably naive about all matters relating to sex. After spotting hunky Rusty (Porter) at a party, she becomes determined to rectify the situation. She gets a summer job at a public swimming pool where Rusty works. Her aim is to lose her virginity to him, but only after accomplishing a number of tasks via the list she draws up that will educate her on all things sexual.

For example, she gets fingered by fellow student Cameron (Simmons). After giving him a hand-job in a cinema, he is smitten with her. She gets dry humped by his best friend Duffy (Mintz-Plasse) and enlists her fellow worker Derrick (Glover) to go down on her. Her mother (Britton) gives her advice about penises, while her abrasive sister (Bilson) rudely mocks her at every turn, calling her a "fucktard".

Not one to see with your grandmother then, but don't be put off by the synopsis. You don't see any naughty bits. It's a sweet-natured and very amusing tale that is deftly performed by all. Plaza's bug-eyed wonder and single-minded resolution to cross these experiences off her list are played with a quirky charm. The combative, foul mouthed relationship she has with her sister is a joy to witness. Bilson is terrific. "Is that a dick under your sombrero?" she lasciviously says to pool boss Hader, drawing a big chuckle. Equally funny is Gregg as their uptight father, hilarious when dictating a "no back door" policy.

Though it has gross out elements and much frank talk of vaginas, masturbation and the like, The To Do List is so funny and freewheeling that one is swept up by its vigorous comic gusto. Unashamedly rude and consistently engaging, it will keep a smile on your face throughout. For such a lewd scenario it is smoothly done with lightfooted assurance. Thoroughly enjoyable.

The To Do List at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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