Wow, if I could only find an old review of Porky’s or any other teen comedy throughout the generations I would simply copy and paste it here and be done. Minus a few name changes. The new teen comedy Sex Drive, though surprisingly laugh out loud funny, has very little originality and a message that is ambiguous. But I am sure when I was ROFL at Porky’s in my early teens critics were saying the same thing. It seems that these films will always have a market as long as teenagers exist. Yet, I can’t help but concern myself at the envelope being pushed in this genre.

Ian (Josh Zuckerman) is a hormone ravaged teen virgin who has found the girl of his dreams (Katrina Bowden) on the internet. Fearing that she will be put off by his thin, geeky appearance he pretends to be someone he isn’t. When she offers to hook up for a night of sexual antics he takes the gamble, steals his brother’s car and heads off for a night to remember. Tagging along for the outing is his best friend Lance (Clark Duke) and Felicia (Amanda Crew), a girl he likes but who has stuck him forever in the friend’s zone. Along the way he must find what is best for him; a meaningful relationship with a girl he loves, or a quickie with a major hottie. The problem is that when you are 17 that can be one heck of a tough call.

As I mentioned, this film had moments of comic genius. James Marsden is hilarious as Ian’s tough older brother who is only concerned that his little bro will turn out gay. The scene stealer could very well be Seth Green though as an Amish guy who helps the trio out when they have a bit of car trouble. His quick wit and improve style is perfect in this setting. In fact I truly can’t fault anyone in the area of acting and delivery. The story, though unoriginal, was solid enough and the plot moved along nicely. They were able to poke fun at everyone and everything from the Amish to True Love Waits abstinence programs. There was even a subtle message as Ian struggles with the pressure to lose his virginity in order to “become a man”. He has to find out what is best for him in the long run. And you want him to make the right choice.

The biggest issue I had is with the gratuitous nature of the language and sexual content. I have no problem with such things as long as they are fitting to the character or used to move the story. But this seemed almost to take it to extremes to see what they could get away with. The shock value was lost on me and I saw it more as a crutch by the writers than a needed element. And call me old fashioned (but not to my face) but it bothers me a lot more when the female characters in the film are the ones delivering the crude lines. Bowden’s character was very likable but at times they would have her say things that took away from her instead of making her more realistic. Yeah that sounds chauvinistic, so sue me.

Sex Drive is rated R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, language, some drug and alcohol use – all involving teens. This is certainly one you want to keep your under-18 movie goers from sneaking off and seeing. And you know they will try. I will be honest; at the core it is very funny. You just need to know that the humor comes with a lot of crudeness packed around it. So use your noggin. 30 something viewers will find it sophomoric at best and a waste of time and energy. I give Sex Drive 3 out of 5 empty radiators. The speed was fine but the content sort of drained me.

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts a daily online talk show along with a weekend radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website”.

Review copyright 2008 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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