At 18, Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) is struggling through his last summer before college, and life is tough. Taunted by his cocksure older brother Rex, shown up in the romance department by his 14-year-old younger brother, and humiliated by his job at the donut shop in the mall. But Ian’s biggest problem is that he’s about to start college as – Lord save us – a virgin!
Well, okay, it is America, after all, and these things are sacred. He’s determined to rectify that before he officially becomes a freshman and his devil-may-care pal Lance (Clark Duke) is on hand to help. A total washout out with the girl of his dreams and longtime best friend, Felicia (Amanda Crew), Ian resorts to the Internet for dates. He soon hooks up with Ms. Tasty, a flaming hot blonde who can’t wait to get busy. But there’s one tiny catch: Ian has to drive 500 miles from Chicago to Knoxville to consummate the deal in the parking lot of Bob’s Big Boy – yes, you heard me right.
Egged on by Clark, Ian risks life and limb by appropriating “The Judge,” Rex’s prized vintage Pontiac, for a cross-country sex drive. With Lance and Felicia in tow, he hits the road for a one-time rendezvous that will rock his world! However, the planned eight-hour drive turns into a three-day marathon as the trio lose their way in the Heartland and end up taking a scenic tour of Midwestern back roads.
With his would-be lover growing increasingly impatient and his older brother due back from a weekend trip at any moment, Ian is in a race against the clock. Car trouble, a stint in the pokey, a detour to an Amish farm, and an afternoon at a roadside carnival all complicate the journey, added to by Lance’s overactive libido that sees him entering into a dangerous liaison with a loose local and hooking up with a supposedly out-of-bounds Amish girl.
Gunning the acelerator for Knoxville before Ms. Tasty gives up on him, the trail of mayhem and misadventure that he and his companions have left in their wake is closing in on them with hilarious consequences. Sense & Sensibility this definitely is not. The conundrums accumulate – will Rex find him before he reaches Nirvana? Can a cuckolded husband exact revenge on Lance just as he seems to have found true love? Might Ms. Tasty actually live up to her Internet profile? At the beginning of a year where most of us will in some way be touched by the misfortune of economics, Sex Drive seems a reasonable counterpoint to the doom and gloom existing outside the cinema doors.
A longtime favourite of Hollywood ‘coming of age’ movies, the road trip to hell (and sometimes heaven) has appeared in many incarnations on our cinema screens. Usually playing to the lowest common denominator with toilet humour and lashings of risible sex jokes, they’re aimed squarely at the teen audience and generally hit the target. While Sex Drive is very much similar to the long line that have gone before – think Porky’s, Sixteen Candles, Road Trip etc, it does manage to flip a few good laughs along the way. A complete suspension of belief is required, as is an understanding that this is not any kind of great art. Just sit back and try not to get all adult about it……..