Sex Drive

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Opens: Friday, Oct. 17 (Summit Entertainment)

Trying for reheated "American Pie" if served up by Judd Apatow, the raunchy "Sex Drive" is by no means "Superbad," but thanks to a likable cast, neither is it superbad.

Although the road taken is a mighty familiar one, those bright performances help compensate for the onslaught of the sort of innocent sexism and good-natured homophobia that constitute too much of the humor, not to mention a prolonged running time that qualifies as more of a relationship than a one-night-stand.

The R-rated results might lure some packs of young males looking for titillation in a market saturated with date movies, but it likely will travel further in the ancillary lanes.

Josh Zuckerman plays the Jason Biggs character -- a shy 18-year-old looking to lose his virginity before starting college with the enticing Ms. Tasty, a hot blonde he meets on the Internet.

Undeterred by the possibility that the babe could very well be a dude, he embarks on a 500-mile road trip from Chicago to Knoxville, accompanied by his sardonic, chubby best buddy (Clark Duke in the Seth Rogen role) and his platonic female friend (Amanda Crew channeling Molly Ringwald circa 1986).

Adapted from the Andy Behrens novel "All the Way," by director Sean Anders along with John Morris, the script goes through its paces painlessly if predictably.

They do, however, demonstrate remarkable restraint by including a prison sequence that doesn't feature the dropping of any soap.

Given the absence of any real freshness or inspired surprise here, it really should have been shorter, but at least the actors play those familiar characters with an energetic conviction.

Only the welcome Seth Green manages to put an original spin on his too-brief turns as a glib Amish guy with a talent for repairing Pontiac GTOs.

Less sex comedy and more Seth comedy would have made for a much livelier excursion.

Production: Alloy Entertainment.
Cast: Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke, Seth Green, James Marsden.
Director: Sean Anders.
Screenwriters: Sean Anders, John Morris.
Producers: John Morris, Leslie Morgenstein.
Executive producer: Mike Nelson.
Director of photography: Tim Orr
Production designer: Aaron Osborne
Music: Stephen Trask
Costume designer: Kristin M. Burke
Editor: George Folsey Jr.
Rated R, 108 minutes.


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