Sex Drive


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Kingdom: Movie

Phylum: Coming of Age

Class: Sex Comedy

Order: Loss of Virginity

Family: Road Trip

Now that you've seen the Linnaean classification for the film, you don't need to know much more, do you? You can already answer any questions I ask you about the plot. I'll give you an example:

Info: Our 18-year-old virgin hero sets off on a long road trip to meet the girl he has gotten to know through the internet. Tagging along with him are his two best friends, a boy and girl he has known for years. You know all of this in about the first five minutes of the film.

Question: Which girl will he end up with, 100 minutes later?

See what I mean? You don't need me at all.

At first I thought that the film's overall premise was weak in the credibility department, even by the standards of teen sex comedies. I mean, would a guy travel 1000 miles in his brother's car (borrowed without permission, natch) for one night with somebody he only knew from an internet chat room? And then I thought back to when I was a virgin. OK, I know what you're thinking. We didn't have the internet back then, but we still formed friendships by telegraph. Most of us had severe calluses on our index fingers. And OK, I couldn't drive when I was a virgin, but I would have taken my Schwinn 1000 miles if I thought it would pop my cherry, although it would have taken me a week to get there. So I guess the premise is reasonable, after all. We should not debate that, since the film is part genre film and part genre spoof, so it assumed plenty of comedic license.

At any rate, things progress predictably. In true American Pie fashion, the film presses the usual buttons in trying to balance guy-movie raunch with date-movie syrup. Usual stuff.

It has three elements that are both original and effective:

1. Seth Green is a hoot as an Amish guy they meet along the way. He has already spent some time out in the world and has returned to the Amish community, so one of the main characters asks him what he misses most about the modern world. His answer, "Sarcasm." Is he, in fact, being sarcastic when he says that, activating a true post-modernist mode? Not at all. That is the only sincere thing he says in the entire movie. Everything else is full of humble, gentle Amish deference - and it's obvious he doesn't mean a word of it. Or does he? That's the great thing about sarcasm when it you use it properly. Nobody knows when you are sincere.

2. One of the hapless losers gets laid constantly. He's a dweeby-looking guy with a flabby body, unkempt hair, and thick glasses. He's not particularly rich or intelligent, and he doesn't trick women into having sex with him. The teen movie cliché would be to explain that by the size of his penis, but this film doesn't go there. The guy just has game: confidence, humor, flattery, humility, a good nature, an unwillingness to accept failure, and the ability to close the sale. He's the character we all know, the douchy-lookin' guy who always scores with the hottest chicks, although nobody can figure out how. The real world is full of these guys. There is even a website called which chronicles their adventures so those of us outside the club can marvel at their amorous conquests. But the movie world has always ignored the existence of such people, perhaps because we don't like to pay for a ticket to find out that women just like some other guys much more than they like us, and it's not because of some magic like a 13-inch rod, but just because we are too lazy or too unlikable to match their successes. Ouch.

3. The film has a clever running gag about the internet. As required by the road trip genre code, our adventurers go through many mishaps and embarrassments on their way. Every time they make fools of themselves, someone is there with an iPhone. They end up immediately on sites like YouTube and, under headers like "tearful abstinence plea gives boy massive woody." Starting within minutes after each mishap and continuing throughout the film, everyone in their path recognizes them from popular blogs and YouTube videos.

The film's weakest point is that it lacks the really appealing female nudity which is a necessary component of a classic teen sex comedy. There are three main female roles: the hot Amish chick and the internet girlfriend do topless scenes in which the camera hides the important stuff, while the best friend chick shows absolutely nothing.  For the record, both male leads show their bums, but the only female nudity comes from anonymous dancers and (Amish!!) revelers. I think we all know that the most memorable thing about Fast Times at Ridgemont High was the nudity from Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. One of the most memorable things about American Pie was the would-be sex scene with the topless exchange student. The hilarious Not Another Teen Movie, riffing on American Pie, features Cerina Vincent completely naked all the time, because she's an exchange student and nobody wants to impose American cultural values on her. C'mon guys. You have to provide nudity from the characters we get involved with. Major rule of the genre. If the girl next door had been played by Alba, and she had done a topless scene ala Phoebe Cates, this would have been the most talked-about film of the year.

Sex Drive is currently rated higher than American Pie or Risky Business at IMDb, as high as Better Off Dead, and just a hair lower than Fast Times at Ridgemont High, thus ranking it as a genre classic. While I don't agree with that assessment, I think it demonstrates that the film plays extremely well with its target audience. As for my own opinion, I'd say that it's not as good as Risky Business or the original American Pie, but better than most, if not all, of the Pie sequels. That would not make it a genre classic, but still a pretty funny, pretty raunchy, and pretty smooth little flick, assuming you go for this sort of entertainment.

DVD Blu-Ray


3 James Berardinelli (of 4 stars)
2 Roger Ebert (of 4 stars)
46 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
49 (of 100)







7.1 IMDB summary (of 10)
B Yahoo Movies









Box Office Mojo. It bombed. Despite an optimistic 2400 screen opening, it barely cracked the top ten for the weekend, and finished with about $8 million.








  • Male: buns from Josh Zuckerman and Clark Duke
  • Female: breasts from anonymous background players. See the main commentary for additional notes.








Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


The critics underrate it, but IMDb voters overrate it. It is a solid genre film, and it's fun tot watch, but it's not a genre classic.