Sex Drive gets the green light with surprisingly non-cliché laughs

    Lance, Ian and Felicia set off on a zany road trip in Sex Drive. Photo courtesy of

    Grade: B+/A-

    Bottom line:Sex Drive does the typical teen comedy thing, but it does it well and might just become a pillar in the genre for its original approach.

    You’ve probably heard the story before: Guy is on a quest to lose his virginity before college (think America Pie); guy meets hot girl on the Internet and tries to find her (sounds like Eurotrip?); but then mix a whole When Harry Met Sally element to it.

    You’re probably thinking, “Pass… like you said, I’ve heard this story before,” but I seriously doubt any of those stories are quite like this. Regardless of the trendiness of its genre, Sex Drive surpasses the norm and is actually one of the most refreshing comedies I’ve seen this year.

    Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) is about to go to college a virgin, and embarks on a road trip from Chicago to Knoxville with best friends Lance (Clark Duke) and Felicia (Amanda Crew). The mission: to meet Ms. Tasty, a hot blonde he met online who’s ready to help him with his dilemma. After “borrowing” his older brother Rex’s (James Marsden) vintage Pontiac GTO, Ian, Lance and Felicia stumble upon a few mishaps along the way, including an encounter with an Amish farmer (Seth Green) and a Fall Out Boy concert.

    Still thinking you’ve heard the story before? Think again.

    Actually, Sex Drive’s only real flaw is its title, which could be misinterpreted as pornographic. Let me assure you, though, that this flick is more like Superbad than softcore porn.

    As you watch it, you realize you’re not being fed some brand of coming-of-age bullshit.

    Zuckerman and Duke, the polar-opposite best friends, play off each other and make the film. Whether talking about girls or hanging with the Amish, they really have fun with their roles, a fact that’s apparent throughout the entire movie. The show-stoppers, however, are Green and Marsden, whose off-beat characters give Sex Drive the quirky momentum it needs to be a true stroke of genius. Green’s typical sarcasm manifested in an Amish farmer keeps the old persona fresh, while Marsden’s transformation from the lovable nice guy to the hilarious douchebag is a breath of fresh air from his previous work.

    The best thing about Sex Drive, however, is the subtle way it makes itself real. As you watch it, you realize you’re not being fed some brand of coming-of-age bullshit. Ian, Lance and Felicia are just like the rest of us… just in slightly-more-hilarious circumstances. On top of killer casting and a refreshingly original story (I SWEAR), Sex Drive also has a stellar soundtrack. Fall Out Boy fans will be pleased, and even if you don’t love FOB, plenty of other artists are featured in the film.

    Even though Sex Drive relies on the whole best friend vs. girlfriend cliché, that’s okay because it handles it in a way that’s also true to real life. And yeah, pitting best friend against girlfriend doesn’t always bring a long-term happy ending, but at least the movie acknowledges that during a certain jail scene.

    At the end of the day, it’s hysterical and you’ll laugh more than you expected to, especially since most people haven’t really heard much about the film. At the very least, Sex Drive will definitely surprise you… in more ways than you probably expected.


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