Movie Review: Sex Drive

In the past few years, comedy has taken a turn for the… gross. Most funny films are going for the raunchy gags instead of scripted jokes. Your parents might not appreciate this shift, but the members of “Generation Y” are going out in droves to see the latest teen comedies that push the envelope of what is acceptable on the silver screen. The most recent entry into this particular genre is the suggestively-named “Sex Drive.” Directed by the fairly inexperienced Sean Andres, “Sex Drive” immediately launches into its crude material, with protagonist Ian (Josh Zuckerman), who wants nothing more than to get laid. As the self-proclaimed “only teen virgin in town,” Ian finds it hard to work up the courage to talk to girls. Supported by his two experienced friends, the suave sex-crazed Lance (Clark Duke of “Greek”) and Ian’s childhood buddy, Felicia (Amanda Crew), he feels the need to hook up with someone as soon as possible. So when Ian’s online love interest promises to go “all the way” if he drives from Chicago to Knoxville, the three friends steal Ian’s brother’s car and begin to make their way across the country. “Sex Drive’s” plot might sound like a recycled story from the “American Pie” franchise, and it’s true that “Sex Drive” borrows heavily from movies preceding it. However, what “Sex Drive” lacks in originality, it makes up for in some genuinely hilarious scenes. The movie manages to have amazing current references, frequently poking fun at our generation’s reliance on blogs, instant messaging and Google maps. It’s often extremely funny and almost always bawdy. “Sex Drive” doesn’t attempt to tone down its vulgarity in the slightest, meaning this might not be the best choice for a movie night out with the family. However, teens will definitely get a kick out of the awkward, lewd humor. Plus, Seth Green’s appearance as a sarcastic Amish farmer is a must-see. In many ways, “Sex Drive” feels like a cleaner, more polished “American Pie.” The movie has pretty graphics and some stylish cinematography to give it a professional look. It doesn’t have the same kitschy feel as the “National Lampoon” movies–that is, until the very end. In the last 15 to 20 minutes, “Sex Drive” veers off of its trendy path and becomes horribly trite and predictable. For a teen comedy to truly be good, it needs to avoid the clichés that straight-to-DVD teen movies have trademarked over time. “Sex Drive” is fairly successful at that, but any semblance of innovation goes out the window in the last few scenes. The writing becomes insufferable, the generally good acting becomes wooden and the story fizzles into the same old conventional happy ending. Otherwise, “Sex Drive” is really fun to watch. It certainly isn’t a serious Oscar contender, but it was never trying to be. It was made to be a brief, entertaining flick and it succeeds at that on many levels. But it does occasionally cross the line between funny and offensive. It’s definitely not the most politically correct movie out there, and some of the distasteful frat-boy comments really do hinder the overall experience. For a crazy, raunchy teen flick, “Sex Drive” does its job. It might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth by the time the credits roll, but the cross-country journey is for the most part hilarious. It might not be in theaters for long, but “Sex Drive” just might be the film you need to entertain you through this October movie slump. Grade: 4