Thu, Oct 16, 2008 (midnight)
A dude in a giant doughnut costume with a big dildo stuck on it. A sarcastic Amish guy who parties with Fall Out Boy and fixes cars. The poor man’s versions of Justin Long and Jonah Hill. A macho homophobe who turns out to be, like, totally gay. An extended semen bit. These and other riveting elements make up the bottom-of-the-barrel comedy Sex Drive, which is like Superbad minus the likeable characters and clever insights about growing up, or like a sexed-up, extra-vulgar version of the 1985 John Cusack/Daphne Zuniga romantic comedy The Sure Thing, from which Sex Drive lifts its major plot device.
That major plot device finds high-schooler Ian (Zuckerman) determined to drive halfway across the country to meet up with a hottie he’s been chatting with online, who’s agreed to have sex with him. Never mind that scrawny, shy Ian has misrepresented himself as a buff, confident football player with a bitchin’ car, or that he’s not even sure the girl with whom he’s been exchanging instant messages is actually a girl. When the rest of his family goes out of town for the weekend, Ian, encouraged by his doughy lothario of a best friend, Lance (Duke), steals his brother’s car and sets out to lose his virginity.
Of course, Lance ends up tagging along, as does Ian’s friend Felicia (Crew), with whom (spoiler alert!) Ian’s totally in love. Obviously Ian and Felicia will realize their love for each other over the course of the trip, and obviously Ian will learn to value his deep romantic connection with Felicia over sex with some random skank. It’s the journey, not the destination, that matters in a movie like this, and Sex Drive’s journey is littered with crass, unfunny jokes, boring characters and predictable developments. It’s not even particularly satisfying when Ian and Felicia do get together, because there isn’t much sense that they’re doing so for any reason other than that the plot demands it. It may be a mistake to ask too much from our teen sex comedies, but Sex Drive can’t even live up to the lowest expectations of the genre.