Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The To Do List (2013)

I've recently (a few days before the general release) been invited and attended a sneak preview of "The To Do List", an excellent comedy featuring Aubrey Plaza whom I’ve seen before in Safety Not Guaranteed.

The To Do List inviteIt all started with an invitation from Jackie Marculescu and a trailer I checked out. Though there are tons of interviews, I didn’t bother looking at them; I’m just linking them here for reference: [AP-CinemaCon] [hader-porter] [AP-SS] [AP + MC] [RB] [HBeeeeez] [HitFix] [celebs-CB+CG] [BH-W] [IGN-handjobs] [SP+AP] [BH-SS]

It starts with that famous track from 2live Crew, Me So Horny. I expected the words “suck my a**hole too” to be beeped out, but it did not happen. It kept up the classy impression with a collection of great 90s tunes I haven’t heard since Grosse Pointe Blank.

My first reaction was – I saw this before! Indeed, at the very same venue, almost two years ago, I watched Andrea Dorfman’s “Love That Boy”, a far more sentimental and almost poetic movie about a girl who sees the world through her “To Do List”.

That feeling disappeared quickly, erased by the situational humour, often times black, and by some memorable one-liners:

Wife: “It’s time to get on with the 90s.”

Judge: “Fine, get that Call Waiting.”


Judge to non-swimming pool manager holding his daughter’s bum: “Get out of my house! AND my daughter.”

The Father/Husband/Judge is very likely modeled on Judge William Adams, who beat his daughter for using the Internet w/o his permission. His daughter took revenge by posting the linked videoclip on YouTube.

What I liked about this comedy is its frankness. Sex and sexuality is treated in synch with today’s teens attitudes toward it. Writes Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men in the Atlantic (at-rosin):

The hookup culture that has largely replaced dating on college campuses has been viewed, in many quarters, as socially corrosive and ultimately toxic to women, who seemingly have little choice but to participate. Actually, it is an engine of female progress—one being harnessed and driven by women themselves.

That particular article was highly controversial, causing femyniszts and feminazis (w/ and w/o umlaut) alike to erupt on both sides of the argument, but luckily, this comedy does not take sides, it simply reflects reality.

The sex is bad, as one would expect also from The End of Sex (at-david), but still a step forward from the condescending, hypocritical, seldom accurate and mostly contradictory (at-berlatsky) stance most America is guilty of: this the country responsible of most porn produced in the world, yet it is also the country of prudishness, resistance to sex ed and even anti-cervical cancer vaccination in schools, and mega churches.

LE: BTW, what with all this "End of.." hoopla? Are they all trying to capitalize on Fukuyama's success, The End of History and the Last Man?!

Expect a backlash, and prudes to –again!– be shocked.

There is also something triumphant and thoroughly progressive about women who enjoy their sexuality and then move forward, no regrets.

Sources / More info: fb, imdb, rtt, at-rosin, at-masciotra, at-flanagan, at-berlatsky, at-2do

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