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Film review: ‘The To Do List’

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Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation makes her lead actress debut in The To Do List.
Matt Kelemen

Two stars

The To Do List Aubrey Plaza, Bill Hader, Rachel Bilson. Directed by Maggie Carey. Rated R. Opens Friday.

While the buzz surrounding coming-of-age comedy The To Do List revolves around Aubrey Plaza’s coming out as a lead actress, it’s also the directorial debut of Plaza’s fellow Upright Citizens Brigade improv troupe veteran Maggie Carey, who drew on her own observations to create a screenplay about a class of 1993 valedictorian who makes a list of every sexual act a high school graduate should have experienced already, and clinically sets out to cross each one off. The premise had potential, and Parks and Recreation fans will be rooting for Plaza, but The To Do List is mostly void of laughs. This probably isn’t the vehicle to determine Plaza’s ultimate star power, but a movie that evokes the dumbness of ’80s teen sex comedies (albeit from a female perspective) should at least provide the lead with a higher level of humor than that of dumb ’80s teen sex comedies.

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