Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: an awkward teenage vir... What’s surprising isn’t that these films go uncredited in Sex Drive, but that it was adapted from Andy Behrens’ novel All The Way — he, if anyone, should be examined for potential copyright infringement.
The opening scene’s superimposed screen chat (with the text appearing alongside the actors) might be slightly worrying, but what could have been an awful gimmick sets up some beautifully timed gags later on — it’s this kind of slack that you have to cut Sex Drive for later pay-offs.
The cast handle the jokes better than the straight stuff, with Clark Duke — seemingly the next in line to Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill etc. Josh Zuckerman revels in his nerdy humiliations, but struggles to fill Cusack’s leading man shoes, while Amanda Crew acquits ‘there-all-along girl’ duties with aplomb.
Elsewhere, an over-the-top James Marsden is having the most fun being an arse, but Seth Green (in a creasingly funny bit part) leaves the biggest impression.
There are gross-out moments (coprophilia gags, an elderly scrotal reveal), but it’s also refreshing to see the main couple, who everyone knows will get together, not conveniently realising this at the end of the film.
It's not Sixteen Candles, but it's not Road Trip, either.
Instead, this comedic car-trip riff on the teen-male libido and the lengths to which it will go to satisfy itself falls somewhere in between part endearing emo love story, part gross-out semen gag-fest, and, very occasionally, a smart, inspired, non-sequitur-laden hoot.Anything that features Robot Chicken's Green as a sarcastic Amish grease monkey with a penchant for pushing the buttons of unsuspecting "English" can't be all bad, and Anders, who adapted the film from Andy Behrens popular young-adult novel All the Way, milks the material for all it's worth, so to speak.Goaded into action by his self-assured, indie-suave best friend, Lance (Duke, who seems to be creating a new teen template as he goes along), high school virgin/nice guy Ian (Zuckerman) "borrows" the ’69 GTO of his testosterone-enveloped older brother, Rex (Marsden, kicking an obvious homage to Bill Paxton's vicious sib in Weird Science).Anders brings all that forward, spending a good part of their screen time debating why they should or shouldn’t be together — nothing profound, but a nice touch.And that’s Sex Drive through and through; by no means a masterpiece (evenof this genre), but good for a snigger if you’re in the mood.It’s also worth pointing out that The Sure Thing isn’t as good as you remember — we checked.