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Film / The To Do List

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The To Do List is a 2013 teen Sex Comedy written and directed by Maggie Carey and starring Aubrey Plaza.

Brandy Klark (Plaza) just graduated from high school and plans to spend her summer working at a public swimming pool in order to save up for a computer for college. However, at a party, she sees the hunky Rusty Waters (Scott Porter) and resolves to lose her virginity to him by the end of the summer.

But to do that, after a conversation with her more... experienced older sister (Rachel Bilson), she decides to spend the summer getting ready by gaining experience doing all of the things that lead up to sex.

Tropes present in this work:

  • The '90s: The movie's plot takes place during the summer of 1993.

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Brandy threatens to report Willy to the parks department.
    • Donald Glover's character is named Derrick, after his comedy troupe Derrick Comedy. The other two actors of the group appear in a small cameo.

  • A-Cup Angst: Brandy realizes she is overlooked due to her lack of breasts, but she tries to get Rusty's attention by wearing a bikini anyway. When she slides into the pool, her top falls off in full view of her crush, the kids at the pool, and her boss Willy who begins mocking her size on the megaphone while children steal the floating top. Eventually, she simply walks out topless with what little pride she has left.
  • Bros Before Hoes
    • Wendy and Fiona get pissed off when they find out Brandy had sex with Wendy's ex-boyfriend.
    • Duffy, Cameron's friend, decides to dry hump Brandy. This was after Cameron was distraught about Brandy having a "scam list".
  • Career Versus Man: Brandy points out Amber doesn't have to marry Chip just so she can stay home and be pampered.
  • Cock Fight: Rusty and Cameron have one, with Cam sucker-punching him and them in a headlock. Brandy breaks it up.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Willy and Amber keep going at it after Judge Klark walks in on them and is screaming at him to get out.
  • Easily Forgiven: Brandy gets Fiona and Wendy back by singing "The Wind Beneath My Wings" to them.
  • Favors for the Sexy: Amber points out that her wonderbra is the reason why she doesn't have to work.
  • Foreshadowing: Brandy's dad says that the back door is the door they don't do. Guess what finally gives Brandy an orgasm?
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Brandy is the virginal, nerdy, Deadpan Snarker in contrast to her air-headed and golddigging sister, Amber, who Really Gets Around.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Willy tells Brandy she's being totally irresponsible after he catches her giving a guy a blowjob in the showers... and then immediately takes a hit off a joint.
  • Informed Attribute: When Brandy tries to apply sunscreen and finds mayo (as part of hazing ritual), she yells "I'm not that pale!". Aubrey Plaza is half-Puerto Rican and naturally tan-skinned.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Brandy's dad walks in on her and Cameron having sex in the ending.
  • Jerkass: Willy, Brandy's boss at the pool, who occasionally slips into being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but not often.
  • Just Friends: Cameron towards Brandy. They do it in the end however.
  • Loose Lips: Brandy has these, even blurting out that she got drunk at a party and threw up to her parents.
  • Loud Gulp: Brandy's reaction when her sister tells her what college is really like.
  • Make-Out Point: Beaver Creek is often mentioned as the place for people to lose their virginity.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Rusty Waters, the guy Brandy wants to lose her virginity to, spends much of his time shirtless.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Brandy's reaction when Rusty points out she has lost her top on the pool and is topless in front of everyone in the pool. She squeals and covers her breasts with her hands and dives into the pool.
  • Nature Abhors a Virgin: More along the lines of college abhors a virgin, the primary plot is Brandy losing her virginity to prepare for going off to school.
  • Open-Minded Parent: In contrast to her father, Brandy's mother is much more open when it comes to talking about sex, even telling her daughters to use lube. Justified in that she seems to be a nurse.
  • Pun-Based Title: "To do", get it?
  • Really Gets Around: Amber, Brandy's sister. Their father blames it on her mother giving her The Talk.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Andy Samberg's rock musician. It really annoys Brandy when he does it while she's trying to blow him
  • Running Gag: Brandy mentioning that her dad is a judge.
  • Speed Sex: Turns out Rusty doesn't last long in the sack.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: More as college prep.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: After her Slippery Swimsuit accident, Brandy initial reaction is to dive back into the pool to cover herself, but when the kids start plying with her lost top and Willy keeps teasing her about her size she climbs out of the pool topless without covering herself to invoke this trope, although it's clear she's putting up a front.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: The camera only focuses on Brandy from the shoulders up after she dives on the pool and walks up to Rusty, who points out she lost her top on the water, and the camera changes to give a shot of her Toplessness from the Back.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Happens two times with Brandy on separate scenes, both times when she uses the pool slide. First when she's trying to show off for Rusty and ends up topless in public and later when she uses the big slide with Rusty during their Two-Person Pool Party.
  • Those Two Guys: Brandy's best friends, Fiona and Wendy. The two kids who are always hanging around the pool also count.
  • That Nostalgia Show/20 Minutes into the Past: The film is set in 1993. While this is partly for nostalgia, being set in the pre-Internet era makes it much more plausible for someone as "book smart" as Brandy to also be so clueless about sex.
  • Valley Girl: Amber is a post-high school and Rocky Mountain version of this trope.