The To Do List: movie review

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  • Comedy
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Exhibiting less grace than its sexually bumbling protagonist, Maggie Carey’s dud is a two-trick pony, clumsily alternating between cynical '90s nostalgia and jokes about filthy carnal acts, the latter of which are performed by Brandy (Aubrey Plaza), a nerdy valedictorian in 1993 Boise, Idaho. She’s got no experience in the bedroom, yet embarks on preparing herself for guitar-playing hunk Rusty (Scott Porter), to whom she plans on losing her virginity. That quest involves checking off items on the titular list with a variety of guys, including dorky admirer Cameron (Johnny Simmons), with whom she works at the local pool, run by slacker Willy (Bill Hader).

Don’t be fooled, though—almost no plot exists in this ramshackle comedy, which amounts to a series of loosely connected vignettes in which Plaza embarrasses herself trying to act alluring. Drably ugly, edited without rhythm and dominated by lackluster performances, The To Do List can’t even bother making its episodic action coalesce into an endorsement of female sexual independence. It’s too busy pleasing itself with lame references to (among others) Eddie Vedder and Hillary Clinton that suggest the film believes old stuff is funny because, you know, it’s old.

Follow Nick Schager on Twitter: @nschager

Release details

Rated: R
Release date: Friday July 26 2013
Duration: 104 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Maggie Carey
Screenwriter: Maggie Carey
Cast: Aubrey Plaza
Johnny Simmons
Bill Hader
Scott Porter
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