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Movie review: 'The To Do List' just lumbers, with little laughs

Published July 27, 2013 1:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Watching the teen romp "The To Do List" feels much like that less-than-ideal first time having sex — awkward, sometimes painful and only fun for a split second.

Brandy ("Parks & Recreation's" Aubrey Plaza) is a straitlaced, straight-A high-school virgin in 1993 Boise who decides to make a to-do list of every sex act imaginable as preparation to bed the hottest guy at the public pool where she works.

What starts out as a promising gender reversal on '80s teen comedies — imagine the ones with John Cusack — eventually turns into an overly raunchy "Porky's" for a modern generation. Even the most progressive moviegoers will wince with disapproval at Brandy's casual sexcapades, and the laughs quickly begin to subside as we wallow in a clumsy, voyeuristic journey with Brandy getting her rocks off.

For some reason, first-time feature writer/director Maggie Carey didn't get to the most important item on her to-do list: "Make a funny movie."

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'The To Do List'

Opens Friday, July 26, at theaters everywhere; rated R for pervasive strong crude and sexual content including graphic dialogue, drug and alcohol use, and language - all involving teens; 104 minutes.