There’s a school of thought that says nothing is original, everything has been done before, and that if you’re going to steal, steal from the best. I think I stole that last bit from Martin Scorsese. Sex Drive adheres to this maxim, following the formula of white, insecure, suburban teens learning the lessons that come with losing their, let’s say, innocence.
Ian (Zuckerman) is an angular Jason Biggs; a shy, nice guy whose libido is limited to IMing and wet dreams. Like Biggs in the American Pie movies, Ian has an unfortunate knack for getting himself into embarrassing contrivances, though I’ll admit that most guys know the horror of an ill-timed family intrusion first thing in the morning.
Ian’s best friend Lance is also his antithesis: an average-looking Joe with an excess of confidence that keeps him steeped in ladies. Rounding out the road crew is Felicia (once referred to as felate-ya, just to give you a sense of where this movie’s coming from). Now, Ian likes Felicia, Felicia likes Lance, and Lance wants Ian to steel his brother’s ’69 GTO for a life-defining road trip to Knoxville to see his online flirt Ms. Tasty, who may or may not be a guy.
Fed up with living the safe life, Ian agrees and sure enough a road trip of teen movie proportions ensues. Crazy hitchhikers, glory-holes, vengeful rednecks, abstinence rallies, jail and the Amish are all on the menu for this teen trio. The wackiness that never happens in real life could’ve seemed forced were it not for the charisma of the three leading unknowns.
The writing, while mostly the garden variety vulgarity, is realistic enough and peppered with “MILF”-like gems that will most likely long outlive their comedic shelf life. Supporting roles from James Marsden and Seth Green balance out the somewhat monotonous main plot of Ian struggling to find his niche of being the nice guy while also getting some.
Overall, there are plenty worse teen sex comedies out there, but this amalgamation of gross-out humor and heart never quite reaches the level of the classics that have kept this genre alive. While films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High are still enjoyed long after their demographic has grown up, Sex Drive will probably always be loved by those too young to see it in theaters.