I was born in the 70s and came of age in the 80s. That means my pop culture vocabulary was built by things like STAR WARS and John Hughes movies. My favorite movie is THE SURE THING. When I was 12, a babysitter took me to see it in the theater and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s an underrated teen comedy that basically launched the career of John Cusack. Without THE SURE THING, there would be no SAY ANYTHING. Sure, today it feels somewhat dated with all of its neon colors, feathered bangs and soundtrack featuring Huey Lewis and the News. But looking past that, it’s still a blazingly funny and sweet romantic comedy.
Now over two decades later comes a movie called SEX DRIVE, which basically borrows the spine of THE SURE THING. I was a bit reluctant at first. But I’m a big fan of the guys who wrote and directed the movie, Sean Anders and John Morris. A few years ago they made this raw but amusing movie called NEVER BEEN THAWED, about a Christian rock band and people who collect frozen TV dinners (believe it or not, it works). So I had hope for this one. And I’m happy to report, it didn’t disappoint.
It’s clear that Anders and Morris’ minds were also shaped by 80s teen comedy. In addition to THE SURE THING, you can find elements of FERRIS BUELLER, BETTER OFF DEAD and WEIRD SCIENCE in the flick. The movie also contains a dash of AMERICAN PIE, a pinch of ROAD TRIP, a smidge of the Farrelly Brothers and is topped off with a dollop of THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND. The great thing about SEX DRIVE is that it pays homage to the teen comedies that have come before it without feeling like a blatant rip off. The comedy is really sharp and it’s got some great performances. Seth Green is awesome. And who knew James “Cyclops” Marsden was funny? But the real standout is Clark Duke. Mark my words, you will be seeing a lot more of him in the future.
I will admit that SEX DRIVE isn’t for everyone. I’m confident that my parents would hate it and my wife and my sister wouldn’t get it. (But both of my brothers-in-law would love it.) It’s an R rated teen sex comedy, so it’s filled with scatological humor which speaks directly to the 12 year old in me. Sadly, it’s not doing very well in theaters this weekend, but I predict that it’s going to be one of those movies that finds its life on DVD.
You should see it.