Clark Duke, who co-created, co-writes, directs and edits the CBS web series Clark And Michael alongside pal Michael Cera, must have experienced déjà vu acting opposite Josh Zuckerman in the affably mediocre new teen sex comedy Sex Drive. Zuckerman has co-opted Cera's adorably awkward persona wholesale, particularly his stumbling, apologetic way of making everything he says sound like a rambling interior monologue that somehow slipped away from him and became banter. Zuckerman isn't Sex Drive's only ersatz element; from its winking double entendre of a title onward, it's awash in teen-sex comedy clichés. But at least it delivers them with affection and a modicum of energy.
Zuckerman stars as a teen geek who decides to take an epic road trip—a sex drive, as it were—to visit an Internet amour who's promised to relieve him of his cursed virginity. Surely no offer made over the Internet, especially of a sexual nature, could be anything less than 100 percent genuine, right? Along the way, Zuckerman and his companions, womanizer buddy Duke and gorgeous best bud Amanda Crew, encounter hard-partying Amish, flirtatious abstinence advocates, crazy rednecks, and a special performance by Fall Out Boy that hurls the film into a time capsule. In other words, typical road-trip hijinks.
Sex Drive offers a limp variation on a hoary old teen-film trope: the oblivious dope who pines for a sexy fantasy girl while ignoring the attractive soulmate right next to him. Sex Drive's modest pleasures come mainly from the periphery. Seth Green steals the film as a dry-witted Amish mechanic who uses the contrast between his old-timey looks and smartass, sarcastic personality to relentlessly fuck with people's heads. Green is clearly having a ball, as is James Marsden as Zuckerman's muscle-headed Neanderthal of an older brother. A film destined for an undistinguished second life as a pay-cable plugger for decades to come, Sex Drive benefits from the low standards of the teen sex-comedy genre. But any film that features an Amish Seth Green giving Pete Wentz shit for his online nude photos, and uses "visiting grandma" as a euphemism for sex, can't be accused of wholly lacking inspiration.