There are plenty of teen comedies that revolve around sex -- but what about one where the "teens" are in their 20s and 30s, and where the movie may or may not be a parody of teen movies, and the decade when it's set?  The To Do List is a comedy that spends as much time spoofing the teen comedy genre as telling jokes.

Set in Boise, Idaho in 1993, The To Do List revolves around Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza), who just graduated from high school with complete academic honors -- and the reputation as a control freak and a virgin.  She's not interested in partying or boys, until her friends take her to a kegger and she becomes infatuated with Rusty Waters (Scott Porter), a musical good-looking hunk who barely noticed Brandy.  Of course,  Brandy has a nice, geeky friend named Cameron (Johnny Simmons) who Brandy considers just a friend and lab partner.

Brandy writes up a "scam list" of sexual activities to do with assorted people, leading up to her losing her virginity to Rusty.  There's also Brandy's summer job at a pool, run by stoner Willy (Bill Hader) and working with Rusty and Cameron.  There's Brandy's older, obnoxious, sexually experienced older sister Amber (Rachel Bilson), her conservative father Judge Klark (Clark Gregg) and far more liberal mother (Connie Britton).  There are numerous cameos by talented comedic actors, including Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg, Donald Glover, and Jack McBrayer.  There are Brandy's numerous sexual experiments, a prank duel with a stuffy rival pool, and fights between Brandy and her friends.
Did I mention that this movie is set in the early 1990s?  The soundtrack could be a greatest hits collection of songs from the 1990s, characters talk about watching Beaches on VHS, and there's plenty of grunge and Pearl Jam music.
It's hard to know what to make of The To Do List.  This isn't a parody along the lines of Not Another Teen Movie, but it does revel in so many cliches of the teen movie that is comes quite close to parody.  Aubrey Plaza is nicely weird and uptight as the lead, but the cliches are hard to ignore and get tiresome after a short while.  There are some funny moments, but overall The To Do List is a bit disappointing.  (The DVD has several extras, including deleted scenes, commentary, and thoughts from director Maggie Carey.)
Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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