Like American Pie doing a Road Trip
There is a very simple way to describe "Sex Drive" and that is it is "American Pie" meets "Road Trip". It has similar characters, similar jokes and even a storyline which sees a virgin desperate to lose his virginity and as such it is one very unoriginal movie. And sadly because of all of this, the sex jokes, body fluid gags as well as a Stifler like character that it ends up feeling like a second rate imitation and one which is trying harder to amuse by being even more repulsive. Maybe 10 years ago I would have found "Sex Drive" quite amusing, but now a decade after "American Pie" breathed life into the teen sex comedy genre it comes across as more desperate than anything.
Ian (Josh Zuckerman) is 18 and not through lack of trying is still a virgin, something which along with being quite weak makes him the butt of plenty of jokes with his older brother Rex (James Marsden - 27 Dresses) enjoying making his life a misery. But Ian has got a plan and after courting a woman on an internet chat room arranges to meet up to have a night of passion. So he steals Rex's beloved GTO and along with best friends Lance (Clark Duke - Hot Tub Time Machine) and Felicia (Amanda Crew - John Tucker Must Die) hit the road and head for Knoxsville. But the journey is not plain sailing as they encounter psycho hitchhikers, jealous boyfriends and the law as well as a party loving Amish community.
Now I don't know whether it was intentional or not but "Sex Drive" almost feels like it is spoofing those better known teen sex comedies. The intro sees the virgin Ian having a wet dream and what follows is basically his embarrassment as his wet pants end up causing injury to his step mother, all very "American Pie". It continues as Ian's brother is the obnoxious Rex played by James Marsden who seems to be channelling the spirit of Steve Stifler as he humiliates Ian at every opportunity and even his young brother Dylan has an element of the Stifler about him. Maybe some will find this all amusing but it ends up feeling like it is copying what "American Pie" did and to be honest it's not as funny.
And whilst you have plenty of what appears to be "American Pie" imitation going on you also get some "Road Trip" as well as Ian and his friends Lance and Felicia end up driving a cross country just so Ian can pop his cherry. So with a cross country road trip we have various incidents from scary hitch hikers, road kill, jealous boyfriends and broken down cars. And for the most it is very obvious with many of the situations and jokes being pulled out of the teen sex comedy playbook.
Having said that there are moments in "Sex Drive" which are clever and funny especially the scenes which sees are trio finding themselves staying over with a party loving Amish community. This is no Amish community you will have ever seen before and not in the least bit real but it is very funny especially with Seth Green delivering some great sarcasm as Amish mechanic Ezekiel. It's just a shame that these moments of original humour are out weighed by all the familiar jokes which crop up in other teen sex comedies. If only it had been the other way around as "Sex Drive" wouldn't have ended up like a procession through other movie's best bits.
And sadly whilst most of the humour feels like it's been pinched from other teen sex comedies so does the characters and as already mentioned James Marsden seems to be trying hard to make Rex the Stifler of "Sex Drive" and is one of the movies highlights. Sadly Josh Zuckerman as Ian is not such a highlight as we basically have a more sensitive version of Jim Levenstein going on with him having various sexual mishaps whilst being a lot weaker and caring. It gets no better when it comes to Clark Duke who plays his best friend Lance as it's just impossible to believe that Lance has this obnoxious power that he can pull any woman he likes, come on and if the irony of this is meant to be funny it doesn't work.
What this all boils down to is that "Sex Drive" ends up a disappointment an "American Pie" and "Road Trip" wannabee which ends up feeling like an inferior copy of the two. 90% of the movie from the jokes, the situations and the characters feels like it has been ripped from another teen sex comedy and it's a shame as the 10% of originality is so much better. I suppose if you were to young to get into "American Pie" and "Road Trip" when they came out then "Sex Drive" will be enjoyable, but for those who did it will end up feeling like a poor imitation.