Film Reviews: Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sex Drive
Starring Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke, James Marsden and Seth Green. Directed by Sean Anders. Written by Sean Anders and John Morris, based on the novel All the Way by Andy Behrens. Rated R.
Fuel Injected

Two supporting turns help move Sex Drive to the front of the pack.


Sex Drive is a pretty typical R-rated teen comedy. Itís got a quest to get laid, cheap gags, fantastical comedic escapades, and a little bit of heart thrown in. But the movieís also got a few things up its sleeve that distinguish it from most others of its kind.
The movie starts with high-school senior Ian (Josh Zuckerman), whoís trying to find the right young woman to lose his virginity to. He spends most of his time hitting on ďMs. TastyĒ on a MySpace-like site, their conversations interestingly shown on floating IM text screens. In a horny rash, Ian decides to ďborrowĒ his older brotherís í69 GTO Judge, wrangle up friends Lance (Clark Duke) and Felicia (Amanda Crew), and go on a hunt to find and woo Ms. Tasty. Hijinks ensue.
Itís pretty obvious about 15 minutes in who Ianís going to end up with. But the plot isnít necessarily the point here. The genitalia and fart jokes are. And while Sex Driveís arenít Judd Apatow caliber and are just often plain gross, they do get the job done.
But not all of the jokes involve old-man testicles and slippery post-wet dream underwear. Some are recurring and based in character and dialogue such as Lanceís lady-killing ways that always land him in trouble and Feliciaís dark humor.
As Ian, Zuckerman is pretty bland but convincingly good-natured, and he ably handles the, um, sticky situations he often finds himself in. His co-stars fare better. Though Duke is somewhat annoying at times, he renders Lance as a convincingly suave though chubby and bespectacled ladiesí man, and as Ianís outcast childhood best-female-friend Felicia, Crew glowers and glows, skillfully blending sarcasm and sincerity. All three actors have good chemistry together, coming off believably as old friends.
But what really make this movie special are James Marsden and Seth Green. As Ianís older brother Rex, Marsden is full of comic machismo, infusing every scene with angry, manic energy, remaining deadly serious about his prize muscle car and constantly taunting his tender-hearted younger brother. You canít help but think that Marsdenís over-the-top performance here upped every other actorís game a notch or two.
Even better is Green as the friendly and sarcastic Amish kid Ezekiel. After Ianís car breaks down on the road, Ezekiel offers to lend a hand ó heíd picked up some automotive skills during his adolescent time away from his people, a period called rumspringa. With his desert-dry sarcasm, which Ezekiel laments is lost on his fellow Amish, Green steals every scene heís in. When heís onscreen, you donít want him to leave.
Marsden and Green, of course, are only supporting players, and even with cameos by Brian Posehn (Just Shoot Me) and David Koechner (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), Sex Drive canít rise to Animal House-esque greatness.
Now can someone get to work on Ezekiel: the Smart-Ass Amish?

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