Rating: 2 stars
Turns out the ’80s teen sex comedies Losin’ It, The Last American Virgin, and The Sure Thing were cinematic classics. How else to explain why Sex Drive so shamelessly cribs from them? Oh, well. It’s not like today’s teenagers will know the difference.
Those of us over 30 can do this in our sleep: Ian (Josh Zuckerman), our sensitive, virginal, donut-shop employee hero wants to drive across the country to hook up with a “sure thing” he met on the web, and is joined by his horndog pal Lance (Clark Duke) and his tomboy best friend Felicia (Amanda Crew) who is—altogether now—secretly perfect for him.
Still, Sex Drive does have some distinguishing features—although not all good.
First the pluses: James Marsden is positively inspired as Ian’s amped up motorhead brother—a guy so rabidly homophobic he simply has to be gay himself.
Then there’s Seth Green, the film’s most unique and hilarious creation, a passive-aggressive Amish man the gang meets on the road who helps them with their engine trouble—and doesn’t let them forget his kindness.
What doesn’t work? Lots of bathroom humor (heck, I didn’t even like that when I was a teenager) and the curious character of Lance.
As I mentioned above, Lance is Ian’s over-sexed buddy. He’s got tons of bravado and lots of suave-guy sex tips for Ian. He’s also kind of pudgy with glasses. In any other film, Lance’s confidence would be an act. We would find out at some point in the film that Lance was full of it—maybe a virgin, certainly no super stud.
But in Sex Drive, Lance is everything he claims to be. Wha? It just makes no sense—unless the film is trying to tell us that confidence is all it takes to land women. (A far deeper premise than I’d give this film credit for.)
Oh well, Sex Drive offers a few laughs, and a whole lotta nostalgia for the ’80s. I may have to break out the Betamax.