A high school slacker who's rejected by every school he applies to opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown piece of property near his hometown.
Ian is a high school senior in suburban Chicago, plagued by being a virgin. Online he's inflated his resume, met Ms. Tasty, and agreed to drive to Knoxville where she promises sex. He steals his homophobic, macho brother's GTO, and, with his two best friends, Lance and Felicia, heads south. Every young woman who meets Lance, including Felicia, is attracted to him, as he practices his aptly learned "Pick-Up Artist" skills. Ian, on the other hand, is a decent guy who wouldn't mind if his friendship with Felicia became a romance. By the time they get to Knoxville, they have encountered a jealous boyfriend, a menacing hitchhiker, jail birds, carjackers, an Amish community, and Ian's better judgment. Written by
In the scene after Lance's party, Miss Tasty asks Ian over the Internet about his football practice. Ian answers with "Awesome.", but when he presses enter, it appears without the punctuation mark. See more »
Okay, so, Sex Drive: It's rude, it's certainly crude, but is it actually in any way good? That's the question that faces many teenage comedies of similar nature these days; so very often over the past decade, the answer unfortunately has been a resounding and overwhelming 'no', but there always remains a select few reminders that even the dumbest of comedies can still thrive upon just that. Sex Drive is thankfully one of these films. It's outrageous and ridiculous in its portrayal of teenage romance, filled with characters that speak more broadly as caricature than real, definable human beings, but it all works for the most part- in the favour of its silly, edgy routine. Sure enough, it's a film that is far more likely to put a smile on the younger faces of the audience, but that assessment goes without saying; in short, there's some good fun to be had here, but only if you don't mind the gross-out variants of humour and can appreciate the comedy on its own merits. Expect anything more than that, and you'll be disappointed.
For all intents and purposes, Sex Drive rarely ever strays far from the road of teenage rom-coms. Taking place for the most part on the open road where many comedians make brief cameo appearances as wacky characters that bump into the main cast, the narrative that binds Sex Drive's gags together is something that has been done to death. In this vein, the movie can get tiresomeand at 110 minutes long, the biggest flaw becomes the sometimes meandering, directionless pace of which moves the plot along. Sure enough such sprawling pit-stops are usually followed by a series of great, laugh out loud bursts of humour, but this incessant need to fill up space needlessly makes Sex Drive feel like a much longer drive than it actually is.
That being said, despite the formulated, familiar approach to this road trip story, Anders and Morris do well to capitalise on the stronger elements of such a narrative. The cameos never feel redundant and fabricated; the trip itself gives way to some great comical situations; and characters, believe it or not, actually grow (albeit, very slowly) over the course of the journey. Furthermore, behind all the profane, raunchy sex jokes and slapstick lies a straight forward, but nevertheless engaging unrequited love story that doesn't feel tacked on and as derivative as it plays out on page. It's a romance that never quite takes off, but with decent characterisation and performances from those involved, it's enough to give the story a warm core that pays out with an ending befitting of your average genre movie.
To watch a movie like Sex Drive for the romance however, is a bit like eating a hot dog for the bun; the real drawing power and force of conviction that draws you into the surreal, ridiculous world displayed here is through the characters, and the awkward, downright hilarious jams they get themselves into. For the most part, the movie strikes gold most when the comedy is just thatcharacter drivenand it's always fun to watch lead character Ian (Josh Zuckerman) constantly get into uncomfortable, cringe-inducing moments of embarrassment.
Of course, a lot of such moments succeed primarily upon the clever, rat-a-tat, teenage colloquial dialogue that Anders and Morris accentuate through their script, but a lot of it also comes down to the performances of the cast who bring their characters to life vividly and with shades of naturalism that brings out the script's modern, laid back feel. As a result, Sex Drive all the more feels casual, and while this again reinforces the slack attitude devoted to the meandering pacing, such a style works well to give the movie a personality of its own that reflects its characters.
In the end, although I had some qualms with the movie's runtime, and it's sometimes unfocused approach to narrative, I nevertheless had fun with what Sean Anders delivers here. It's a relentlessly convincing picture with a youthful vision that many directors so often forget or simply neglect to touch upon when making such movies. As a result, Sex Drive will undoubtedly speak a lot clearer to younger audience members than their older counterparts, but if you happen to be a part of that demographic, then there is definitely some great laughs to be had here; unabashedly immature and not afraid to get dirty, Sex Drive is a long ride, but it's worth it in the end for the fun that it expels over that trip.
A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)
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