[Update: The New York Times gave it a great review]
I can't wait for Aubrey Plaza's new film 'The To-Do list" (she's April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation" ) Inspired by writer/director Maggie Carey's own life as a teen, it twists the standard teen sex comedy narrative: Nerdy high school student Brandy, and not her horndog guy classmates, is dying to lose her virginity before college in the fall. Except for "Easy A" there's not been much mainstream girls' coming-of-age films. So, welcome!
I mean, hello!! A brainy nerdy girl who wants to have some sex, is not looking for true love, and is a big old feminist to boot? It's like someone wrote the story of what I wish my teen years would have been like, except when I was a teenager, girls like that either didn't exist or got pregnant, ruined their lives and died alone. This is a coming-of-age film I can get behind.
And just look at the cast: Alia Shawkat, Donald Glover, Clark Gregg... and Connie Britton (squeal!) And her love interest is an unrecognizable Scott Porter, looking nothing like wheelchair-bound ex-QB Jason Street from Friday Night Lights*.
There's a profile of Plaza in the New York Times where writer Melena Ryzik lays out what's especially cool about the film:
The libidinous travails of teenage boys have driven entire movie franchises..., but the sexual frankness of young women is something new on screen. It’s a reflection of several generations of feminist theory, the openness of online culture and, crucially, the presence of women behind the camera. Ms. Carey and Ms. Plaza also gave Brandy a political point of view: she wears a “Pro-Choice/Pro-Clinton” T-shirt and — shades of Ms. Poehler’s Leslie Knope — has a framed photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton in her bedroom. The movie’s message is that for thinking ladies, too, sex can sometimes be taken lightly.
“It wasn’t about love, she wasn’t looking to get married, she was just like, ‘He is hot,’ ” and she wants him, Ms. Carey said. “Women have those feelings as much as men. You don’t see it a lot in this genre of movie, so that was important to me.”
Ms. Plaza said the matter-of-factness in her character’s sexual awakening was appealing. “Girls learn how to masturbate, too; we just haven’t seen it before,” she said. And it gave her a chance to step outside her “Parks” persona.
I love the actual sex to-do list she writes in the trailer. Makes me want to send her character a V-Card so she can punch a cherry every time she checks something off the list.
*OK, a little part of me would have preferred Taylor "Riggins" Kitsch, but you can't have everything. The film opens on July 26th. Big h/t to Women and Hollywood