Box art for The To Do List

The To Do List


A Type-A, overachiever comes up with a 'to-do list' featuring all the risqué extra-curricular activities she missed out on in high school and wants to complete before college.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

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  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
1 out of 5

Hilarious, but teen sex comedy has lots of raunch, drinking.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The To Do List is an early '90s-set comedy that focuses on a naive teenage girl's quest to learn all about sex during the summer before she goes away to college: She makes an extensive list of sexual acts and then spends the next few months checking things off. Expect lots of graphic discussions about sex and several scenes in which the main character (played by Aubrey Plaza) engages in various activities on her list, including oral sex and intercourse (everything is more suggested than shown, but it all adds up to an overall tone of raunchiness). A few scenes show her in her underwear or topless (seen from behind) but there's no graphic nudity. In addition to all the sexual content, there's also plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), heavy teen drinking/partying, and some characters smoking pot.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Brandy's approach to learning about sex. Do you think she's too clinical? What influences her perspective on the topic? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
  • How does the movie depict teen drinking and drug use? Are there realistic consequences for either/both?
  • How do Brandy's activities affect the people around her, including her friends, her sister, and her study pal, Cameron?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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Audience Reviews

4 stars

Coming of age sexual odysseys have been seen before, but never so female friendly and reliant on the gross-out factor. There's something so realistic and funny about the exploits of youth, and becoming a woman on top of that, lends to adolescent humor that we've never seen before. Director and writer Maggie Carey really knows how to make films for women and uses both realism and perversity to make a genuinely funny film about what it's like for a teenaged girl when she starts realizing her own sexual ambition. It's really sweet on top of being gross out funny, and that just doesn't get seen enough with a female in the lead. It went a little off-color at times, and got a little too familiar with her parents, but that just lent to its charm and dry humor.

- FrizzDrop, Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2 stars

The To Do List is a lot of people I like trying very hard to do something interesting and new, but ultimately just ends up all of the place. Parts are unnecessarily crude, understandably but off-puttingly vulgar, and in a lot of places the script just feels like it could have used a couple more passes. The characters don't feel real, the plot doesn't feel fleshed out. It simply boils down to a series of funny moments that should have added up to more.

- fb508860270, Friday, July 26, 2013

2 stars

This story of a Type-A gal approaching her sexual education as a series of regimented tasks is commendable for breaking the double standard against sex and raunch in female-centric movies. "The To Do List" is unapologetically dirty and baldly clinical, but I found myself wanting more emotion - not because fem-centric movies need to balance raunch with Haagen-Daaz and "watching 'Love Actually' until periods sync up," but because Brandy's buttoned-up character lacks believable motivation for such sexual depravity and the plot lacks any believable redemption for sins committed, specifically with Johnny Simmons' sad, Zack-Morris-haired Cameron. I understand Brandy's exasperation at men being animals, but she eventually learns that sex IS a bigger emotional deal than she thought, yet her and Cameron's resolution is solely about orgasm. Which I guess is another laurel for this raunchy fem-centric movie: the woman is empowered by sexual maturity not love. The movie is kinda funny, and Aubrey Plaza, while known for her awkward comedy, gets some nice slow-motion hottie entrances. I don't find the movie terribly memorable though - mainly just Rachel Bilson's hilarious bitchy older sister routine and all the great 90s references.

- aliceinpunderland, Wednesday, August 14, 2013