Sex Drive

Summit Entertainment

On the surface, “Sex Drive” appears to be just another formulaic raunchy comedy about a white boy getting laid. Yet, despite a familiar first reel, the increasingly charming saga evolves in some unexpected ways in the later chapters, assuming greater poignancy.

Producer Bob Levy, head of the film and TV division of Alloy Entertainment, found the source material for his feature film in his company's own publication, “All the Way,” the young adult novel by Andy Behrens. Alloy, which was founded by Leslie Morgenstein, also a producer on Sex Drive, previously produced the popular “Gossip Girls” TV series and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movie franchise, both developed from books Alloy had published.

New technology, and how it affects courtship, dating, romance, and sex, features prominently in “Sex Drive.” Like other males his age, at 18, Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) sets out on a cross country drive with his best friends Lance and Felicia in order to lose his virginity to a red-hot babe he met on the Internet.

The journey that defines this road movie is, of course, replete with misadventures and escapades. But it also turns out to be a life-changing experience, when everything Ian thought he knew about life is turned upside down. In the end, the trip teaches all three amigos more than they had anticipated–or had bargained for–about love and life.

At first sight, Ian is a loser, a guy who can’t seem to catch a break or please anyone—least of all himself. He’s taunted by his cocksure older brother Rex (James Marsden, pretty but boring). He seems less knowledgeable in the romance department by younger brother, who's 14. And it doesn't help matters that he holds a dull job at a shopping mall donut shop, where he is endlessly humiliated.

But all of these handicaps are dwarfed compared to Ian¬ís biggest problem is that he¬ís about to start college with a stigma: He's still a virgin! (This when the average age at initial sexual experience in the U.S. is around 14-15). Getting nowhere with the girl of his dreams and longtime “best friend” Felicia (Amanda Crew), Ian resorts to the Internet for dates. Yielding results, he soon hooks up with Ms. Tasty, a flaming hot blonde, who's anxious to meet with him. The only catch, or rather obstacle is that Ian has to drive 500 miles from Chicago to Knoxville to consummate the tentative transaction.

Egged on by his devil-may-care pal Lance (Clark Duke), Ian appropriates “The Judge,” Rex¬ís prized vintage Pontiac GTO. With Lance and Felicia in tow, he hits the road for a one-time rendezvous that's expected to change his life, perhaps even set the world on fire!

Once on the road, the trio experience car trouble, a stint in the pokey, a buggy tow with an Amish farmer (Seth Green, hilarious), and an afternoon at a roadside carnival, all of which complicate and prolong the journey way beyond its original and urgent schedule.

As Ian presses on to get to Knoxville before Ms. Tasty gives up, the trio’s trail of mayhem closes in on them with hilarious consequences. Will Rex find Ian before he reaches Nirvana Will a cuckolded husband exact revenge on Lance just as he seems to have found true love Will Ms. Tasty live up to her Internet profile Will Ian realize what he really wants And most importantly, Will Ian, Felicia and Lance survive the bumpy road to adulthood with all its twists and turns

You have seen enough youth comedies to know that the answer to most of these questions is in the affirmative, but the movie is about the complex process, not end result, the journey, not the destination.

The cast of newcomers is appealing, particularly Josh Zuckerman, who last year made an impression in Redford's political movie “Lions for Lambs.” The other members of the trio, Amanda Crew (The Haunting in Connecticut) and Clark Duke (“Geek”), also show some charm.

Of the secondary characters, James Marsden (“Enchanted”) is his usual himself, but Seth Green (“Austin Powers in Goldmember”) shines, easily owning the most hilarious scenes in the comedy.

I have not seen the previous feature, “Never Been Thawed,” of director Sean Anders, who also co-wrote the scenario with John Morris (“She's Out of My League”), based on the aforementioned novel, who does no more than a serviceable job; the movie is better scripted and acted than helmed.


Ian – Josh Zuckerman
Felicia – Amanda Crew
Lance – Clark Duke
Rex – James Marsden
Ezekiel – Seth Green
Mary – Alice Greczyn
Ms. Tasty – Katrina Bowden


A Summit Entertainment release of a Summit presentation of an Alloy Entertainment production.
Produced by Leslie Morgenstein, Bob Levy, John Morris.
Executive producer: Mike Nelson.
Directed by Sean Anders.
Screenplay: Sean Anders and John Morris, based on the novel “All the Way” by Andy Behrens.
Camera: Tim Orr.
Editor: George Folsey.
Music: Stephen Trask; music supervisors, Dave Jordan, Jojo Villanueva.
Production designer: Aaron Osborne.
Art director: Erin Cochran.
Set designers: Cesar Rosario, Richard Fojo; set decorator, Jennifer Gentile.
Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke.
Sound: Mark Weber; assistant directors, Linda Brachman, Mary Ellen Woods.

MPAA Rating: R.
Running time: 108 Minutes.