The To Do List

July 29th, 2013


The To Do List

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Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Clark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.

Release Year: 2013

Director: Maggie Carey

Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Clark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.

Taglines: She's going from straight A's to her first F.


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Release Date:

Filming Locations: Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA

Did You Know?

All the teenagers in the film are played by adults for comedic purposes. Most of them are over the age of 25. See more »

User Review



I was eagerly waiting to watch this movie ever since I first watched its trailer. Thankfully, I was able to catch a screening last Thursday and I can safely say it did not disappoint. The To Do List starring Aubrey Plaza and directed by Maggie Carey is a fine coming of age story of a teenage girl minus any drama whatsoever. It's not something which is new but the difference being in the execution.

Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) is a teenager who just finished with her high school and is about to enter college. She is a straight-A getter and an overachiever at school but isn't a favorite among her peers. The opening scene where Brandy is called upon the stage to give a speech and is subsequently is booed out by the crowd makes it pretty much evident that she is not much liked in the school. Wendy (Sarah Steel) and Fiona (Alia Shawkat) are her two best buddies who are the only people she hangs out with. She is friends with Cameron (Johnny Simmons), who is also her classmate and is totally in love with Brandy. Now, one thing I particularly liked about Brandy's character here is that despite her not being a crowd favorite, she does not lack confidence or self-esteem for which the writer needs to be credited as they could have easily made her a clichéd depressed character where people would feel sorry for her, which is not the case. Wendy and Fiona, take Brandy to a graduation party where she falls for Rusty Waters (Scott Porter) and subsequently she makes a 'to do list' of all the co-curricular activities she missed out in high school which she wants to complete before entering college in order to be desirable and to win over Rusty Waters.

Brandy realizes the need to add more sexual experiences to her resume and to lose her virginity in the summer before she enters college. I loved the tone of this movie; it touches upon important and pertinent topics such as the need for parents to educate their children regarding sexual issues, the dilemma a teenager faces in understanding the difference between infatuation and love, but never once being preachy or emotional but consistently delivering laughs throughout. It's a breath of fresh air in terms of the concept to see a girl fantasize and sexually crave for a person of the opposite sex wherein generally we have seen males do so. (American Pie for instance and so many other sex comedies) Also, the movie is set in 1993 and one can see the attention to detailing to bring out that feel on screen in the billboards, Brandy's dressing, her glasses, her mannerisms. I'm not sure why the makers opted for an old setting but most probably because this topic relates more to those times. The manner in which Brandy meticulously makes up her 'to do list' and also regularly ticks off her completed tasks, is something which underlines her A-grader nature, and shows the clarity the makers had when they actually wrote the character. One particularly gross but equally hilarious moment is the swimming pool scene where Willy (Bill Hader) is the manager and also is Brandy's supervisor at a local swimming pool where she worked during her summer break and being a newbie, she falls for her coworker's pranks. One instance, she decides otherwise and ends up eating potty in the swimming pool. Another scene, where the girls send a boy to spy over men's conversation and the men also do the same is hilarious.

Audrey Plaza gets brownie points for superbly playing the vulnerable yet confident Brandy Klark, something which was missing in her previous performances. The supporting actors pitch in and give a noteworthy performance and the pick of the lot for me would be Bill Hader as Will, the manager of a swimming pool who does not know how to swim and Johnny Simmons as the friend in love who realizes he is just a mere tool for Brandy to complete her 'to do' list. The director, Maggie Carey's handling of the subject which impressed me the most never once loosing track of the main character in focus. It does get a little tedious towards the end but its little to cry over in this thoroughly entertaining film.

It's a definite must watch for all those sex comedy fans out there. It's American Pie minus nudity (at least not in the version I saw) and with a character driven plot. I wouldn't recommend watching this movie with parents but its best enjoyed with your friends. A big thumbs up!

My Rating: 8/10


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