Film Review by Kam Williams
Headline: Desperate Virgin Chases Internet Fantasy in Raunchy Road Comedy
Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) is your prototypical high school grad with one mission in life: to lose his virginity before heading off to college in the fall. But the 18 year-old nerd’s prospects of quenching his raging hormones aren’t that great for several reasons.
First of all, he’s socially awkward and gets tongue-tied around girls, especially Felicia (Amanda Crew), the cute co-worker he has a big crush on. Trouble is she only sees him as a nice guy she can confide in about her own boy problems.
Secondly, Ian’s job as the mascot of a convenience store called Senor Donut tends to get in the way, since he spends most of the day walking around the mall disguised as a giant piece of pastry under a big sombrero. Needless to say, that look isn’t exactly a chick magnet, in fact, the only attention he attracts is from mischievous kids out to embarrass him by secretly attaching sex toys to his costume.
Things aren’t any better for Ian at home, where he’s mercilessly teased for possibly being gay by his older brother, Rex (James Marsden), a macho stud with a classic Pontiac GTO from 1969. And to add insult to injury, even his 14 year-old brother (Cole Peterson) is already having better luck with the ladies. Consequently, it’s no surprise that Ian spends most of his time in his bedroom, trolling internet chat rooms in search of a date.
This loser’s fate seems to change the day he meets “Ms. Tasty” online, a blonde temptress who’s very impressed by his embellished bio and computer-enhanced photos. She promises to make it worth his while if he shows up in Knoxville behind the wheel of the muscle car he claims to drive. So, Ian “borrows” his brother’s GTO without permission, and sets out for Tennessee from Chicago accompanied by Felicia and his best friend, Lance (Clark Duke), for the 1,000-mile road trip of a lifetime.
Sometimes, getting there is all he fun, and this is the case with Sex Drive, easily the funniest teensploit of 2008 so far. Loosely based on the novel “All the Way” by Andy Behrens, the screen version is a rather raunchy adventure reminiscent not only of Judd Apatow’s recent offerings but also of such shock genre staples as The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Road Trip, American Pie, There’s Something about Mary and The Sure Thing.
En route to Ian’s romantic rendezvous with Ms. Tasty, our hardy trio has hilarious encounters at every turn, whether with a homeless hitchhiker, kinky trailer trash, trigger-happy cops or wayward Amish. Brace yourself for outrageous fare ranging from politically-incorrect epithets to explicit dialogue to scatological humor to male and female frontal nudity. Yet, underneath all the scummy hijinks, there’s a redeeming message about true love waiting to be revealed, allowing for a sweet sendoff which manages to make Sex Drive something that’s very special in the end.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for crude humor, profanity, sexuality, nudity, and drug and alcohol use, all involving teens.
Running time: 109 minutes
Studio: Summit Entertainment
To see a trailer of Sex Drive, visit: http://www.summit-ent.com/sexdrive-trailer.php?subj=3&sel_page=4&show_trailer=1