Between his unsympathetic family and his demeaning doughnut-shop job, the likable-but-luckless Ian (Josh Zuckerman) is a prototypical teen-movie protagonist with a prototypical teen-movie conflict: He’s still a virgin. Naturally, a prototypical solution must follow. With his two best friends (played by Amanda Crew and Clark Duke), Ian steals his brother’s 1969 Pontiac GTO and embarks on a road trip to hook up with his Internet crush. Heralded by Porky’s and perfected by John Hughes, the post-pubescent sex comedy is a genre as identifiable as the film noir or the western, and Sex Drive doesn’t miss any of the motifs. Sweet muscle car? Check. Terroristic older sibling? Check. (In frosted tips and cut-off sweatshirt, James Marsden relishes the role.) Ample amounts of T&A? Check. Yet, rather than wink at adults with a knowing rehash of early ’80s iconography, director and co-writer Sean Anders aims for the only audience that counts: the youth of today. Like Superbad, Sex Drive maintains its belief that the average modern teenager is funnier and more compelling than the stereotyped hipsters of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist or the fantastic figurines of High School Musical. Even as Ian’s journey detours into National Lampoon–like farce, the movie remains faithful to a portrait of teens as they see themselves.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2008