October 16, 2008

Sex Drive

Sarah Palin's rallies are getting weirder and weirder

Grade: C +

Director: Sean Anders

Starring: Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke, James Marsden, and Seth Green

MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

How can a teen comedy be so edgy and yet so banal? If it is Sex Drive, the answer falls somewhere between Amish raves and Mexican-themed donut shops on the one hand, and scatological snickers and ethnic stereotyping on the other. A trio of high school seniors embark on a cross-country sojourn so hapless virgin Ian (Josh Zuckerman) can hook up with a blonde babe he met online. Along for the ride is Ian’s friend and inexplicable lady’s man, Lance (Clark Duke), and Ian’s BFF and latent inamorata, Felicia (Amanda Crew). Felicia secretly has the hots for Lance, but as these things usually go, it’s just a matter of time before Ian and Felicia’s romance orbits circle into alignment.

The always-reliable James Marsden is riotous as Ian’s roid ragin’ older brother, and Seth Green steals the entire film as an ultra-passive aggressive Amish Good Samaritan. Still, while Sex Drive has its share of guilty chuckles, the laugher feels as if it was grafted from the cadavers of departed teeny comedies. Moreover, the film’s eventual wholesome payoff, the romance spark between Ian and Felicia and, to an even lesser extent, Lance and a naughty Amish vixen, does not burn hot enough to disinfect the bathroom glory holes and assorted other potty humor. A film like American Pie possessed both audacity and adolescent charm. Sex Drive takes some amusing detours, but it’s ultimately a road trip to nowhere.

Neil Morris

No comments: