Title: The To-Do List
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader
My rating: 3/5
Brandy Klark has just graduated from high school where she excelled in every subject, except real-life sexual education. When her older sister tells her how important it is to be experienced, Brandy writes out a sex to do list for herself for the summer. Her friend Cameron might be the perfect guinea pig while she sets her sights on the popular and sexy Rusty Waters as the ultimate end goal. But once feelings get in the way, it becomes much harder for Brandy to check off the remaining items on her to do list.
I was lying in bed the other night, but couldn’t sleep, so I grabbed my tablet and clicked on a random movie to watch. This is what I got.
I went into The To-Do List blind. I had no idea what it was about, but I would’ve watched anything at that time to help me fall asleep. I ended up watching the entire movie, feeling simultaneously disgusted and nostalgic, and then fell asleep reminiscing about my own teenage years. One thing for sure is that I definitely wasn’t a horny teenager. No, sirree, I was a geek and more worried about my grades than boys (this is probably why I despise love-triangles and romance in YA books).
As someone who did quite well in school, I sort of related to the main character in one or two ways. I liked learning. Studying for exams was a piece of cake. Our MC in this movie, Brandy, is an overachiever who even decorates her to-do list with frilly, colorful, patterns. I don’t know if I liked her, but I didn’t hate her either. She was just awkward and in many ways a typical young adult, but without the required teenage sexual experiences. She sets out to rectify this before she goes off to college.
I loved the realism of this movie. Brandy and her two best friends aren’t drop-dead gorgeous characters. They’re very plain, but the viewer quickly understands that this is to some extent what makes the movie work. In other movies you’ll find gorgeous geeks wearing glasses, but remove the glasses and they’re still a treat for the eye. This girl isn’t, and neither are her two best friends, but they’re not Ugly Betty either.
The To-Do List is a coming-of-age comedy that is drenched in awkward, gross, and just plain embarrassing. I don’t like movies that employ toilet humor or sexual innuendos as the foundation on which it is built. But, somehow, this movie makes it work. I cringed, and I ewwww’d, and I closed my eyes or looked away. Yet, there is a message hidden in all that craziness about “that first time” not being the begin all and the end all, or even it being perfect the first time round. It is about the person you’re with. I must admit, when the movie started and I got the gist of what it was going to be about, I didn’t expect it would have something in the story you can take away with you. As an adult, I already understand these things (or I think I do), but even though I wouldn’t recommend my teen watch this, I still think it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he chooses to.
Apart from the inspiring message about “that first time” (and every time after, for that matter), I had a lot of good laughs and “awwwwwws”. Between the crazy parents, the Bette Midler let’s-sing-this-song-together-to-repair-our-friendship moment which made me cringe, a few predictable scenes (that still had me laughing), and the overall madness and weirdness, I can honestly say I might watch this movie again sometime.
No, I definitely wasn’t such a teenager, but I can only imagine that had I grown up in the same family Brandy did, that probably could’ve been my life. Thank heavens it’s not.
You can watch the movie trailer here.
Follow us with: