Posted on Thursday, October 16th, 2008 by David Chen
The /Filmcast Interview is a series of conversations with actors, directors, and other key figures from the entertainment industry. In this episode, David speaks with Sex Drive actor Clark Duke about R-rated comedies, Directors’ Cuts of films, and “Unrated Edition” DVDs. Sex Drive will be in theaters on October 17, 2008.
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We’ve tried to convince you that this weekend’s Sex Drive conquers the odds for that ever commodified of genres, the teen sex comedy. And now Summit Entertainment has released the first R-rated 10 minutes online to convert the masses. This should give you a good idea of how the film balances funny rapid-fire sophomoric humor with cast chemistry reminiscent of so many ’80s mallrat gems. While the movie’s resident mack, Clark Duke, doesn’t show up until the end, the brotherly crossfire between Josh Zuckerman and James Marsden hasn’t lost any punch since our press screening exploded. And Zuckerman’s Mexican donut now seems like a big Halloween Don’t (Do?) for the ages.
Unless you’re someone who apologizes for laughing with people who like beer, or you’re super depressed about the economy or a dead pet, it’s a really good time.
Discuss: After viewing this clip, what do you think?
Three things you should know about Sex Drive: 1) A whore nearly shits on Clark Duke. 2) It’s one of the funniest movies of 2008. 3) It doesn’t carry a Judd Apatow hall-pass.
And if the word of mouth explodes on this flick, it might be hailed commercially as the new American Pie (whatever that means) right in time for total economic collapse. Admittedly, like your own, my expectations were really low for this movie, comparable to those for Nick & Norah: Die, and that was before I found out Fall Out Boy had a cameo. That was before I paid enough attention to realize the title was a pun. That was before I went to Momofuku Ko for free and got a free massage. The only reason why this movie was on my movie radar was the presence in the unfunny trailers of Clark Duke, a shapely young actor who starred in the addictive web series, Clark and Michael, opposite Michael Cera.
But after seeing Sex Drive, Clark Duke is officially a star. And he’s a star who’s open to “dude, you look like a chick” jabs courtesy of Brian Posehn. And he’s the highlight of an R-rated teen-sex comedy because he bangs everything that moves, including the Amish.
This is not a comedy you should read five reviews on, even if you’re bored. It follows the adventures of a proto-Last American Virgin named Ian (Josh Zukerman, awesome here) who steals a ’69 GTO and bounces around with his pussy-magnet best bud (Duke) and his best girl/crush (Amanda Crew, funny)—the Ferris Bueller equation. Talented youngs, all. And, as confidently co-written and directed by Sean Anders, the movie never forgets the sparkly cast chemistry and off-the-cuff banter of ‘80s flicks like Fast Times, Weird Science and License to Drive, even while piling on supremely gross sight-gags from the late ‘90s, ‘00s agreeable YouTube segues, and lots of ‘20s “Fag!”s. This is a cast you’ll want to stay with after, even if the didactic ending kinda bails—and did we really need the cliché “that explains the bigotry?” safety net?
James Marsden destroys as the older, alpha brother to Zuckerman’s bashful Ian. His character, Rex, has drawn early comparisons to Bill Paxton’s Chet (and Lee Tergesen’s), but also possesses the jock heart of Brand in The Goonies. When guns are drawn and the film’s plot goes madcap, Rex joins the party rather than squashing it. The preview audience ate-it-up. Marsden is swell at physical comedy—making you feel sorry for a garage door—and whenever he’s on screen he offers a jolt of violent anticipation. His one-liners aren’t bad either. When informing his brother that he “looks like a Mexican butthole,” in the context of the scene it’s both an endearing, painfully wrong and acute observation. To the pantheon of movie jerks he goes.
So much current mainstream comedy walks an awkward, paranoid tight rope—see SNL being censored by billionaire stiffs—and Sex Drive is refreshing because Anders and co-writer John Morris seem blissfully unawares here. This is Anders’s second film following a little seen 2005 Christian rock spoof, and due to the success of Superbad, it could have been predictably stuffed with pseudo-shocking cock jokes. Instead, nothing is off limits if it scores a laugh, as it should be. Christians get beaved, grandma, cancer, abstinence and suicide are up for grabs, and I think there’s an Elvis Mitchell doppelganger at the end. A talking Jean Claude Van Damme poster? Sure. Unlike the second Harold and Kumar, the jokes aren’t stitched together to mock yet casually simmer in the cultural climate; compared to a few of this summer’s high profile comedies, the bromance on display doesn’t fill the air like congratulatory cigar smoke.
When Clark Duke assures an incarcerated black dude that he’ll check out his rap MySpace page, it’s Zen-like. Suddenly it’s as if you’re peering into a future of countless afternoons spent enjoying Sex Drive on Comedy Central instead of getting dressed or blankly watching your roommate clean-up. For me, that’s an all too rare accomplishment for a film. And congrats to those involved for The Wraith homage set to Kenny Loggins’s “Danger Zone.”
With buzz climbing for his performance in the October comedy, Sex Drive, actor Clark Duke has landed a role in Matthew Vaughn‘s violent comic book flick Kick-Ass. Ever since we laughed our asses off at Duke being repeatedly mistaken for a girl on the web series, Clark and Michael, we’ve hoped to see him stake a claim in cool features, so this is great news. And yeah, based on the trailers, Sex Drive looks friggin’ meh, but supposedly it delivers. Duke will play Marty, a good friend to the film’s titular character, a teenage would-be superhero, and Marty’s described on the movie’s official character list via Moviehole as…
About 17, a chubby Caucasian high school student who loves comic books. He is Dave’s funny best friend. Together with Dave and Todd, he loves to go to comic book stores, and checks out the latest issues, while talking about school, girls, the futility of teenaged life, and the exciting adventures of Myspace insta-celebrity Kickass. He never suspects that Kickass is in fact Dave Lizewski — and neither would you if you knew Dave.
Perfect. For our recent casting report on Vaughn’s $70 million indie film. click here. Duke had a bit part in Superbad, so this will be his second film co-starring Christopher Mintz-Plasse aka McLovin, who plays the teen antagonist Red Mist. The comics’ creator, Mark Millar, has gone on the record as saying something like “I bet you all my balls that Kick-Ass will be the best movie of 2009.” And even though Millar talks more shit than Reggie Miller and even though Nic Cage bums us out, this movie should definitely live up to its title. And yeah, expect more headlines like the one above. Clark Duke, invest.
The photo above goes out to all the girls of the world who go nom nom nom for Michael Cera. This is a demographic that is growing exponentially. I even know a gal who left a guy to venture out in search of Juno’s lithe and witty impregnator. So, given this bewildering trend, it’s only fitting that Cera (Superbad) is in final negotiations to star in the titular role of Edgar Wright‘s Scott Pilgrim’s Little Life, a promising adaptation of the hipster comic book about a Canadian bass player who must defeat his dream girl’s seven evil exes in order to, you know, make out.
In Bryan Lee O’Malley‘s comic, the “League of Ramona’s Evil Ex-Boyfriends” is possessed with varying evallll superpowers ranging from “vegan psychic powers” to “summoning demon hipster girls at will.” And apparently one these exes is a vixen who is half-ninja. You know, from college. Also of note, Pilgrim, who is straight, has a gay roommate named Wallace and they share a bed. Hopefully Clark Duke (above) who played Cera’s roommate in the quite amusingClark and Michael (re: watch) gets a text to join. Writer/actor Michael Bacall, Wright and O’Malley adapted the script, and filming is slated to begin in the fall.
While lots of fanboys were hoping that Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) hopped onto Marvel’s Ant Man next, the addition of Cera to this project makes me think it could be quite \m/. Moreover, Michael Cera starring in a flick that will get him a permanent seat in the Illustrious Skybox of ‘Tang is good for all of us geeks, hipsters and Sexman alike. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that Cera is deserving of the lead in that o-so-holy and manly of remakes: Fletch.
Discuss: Why is Michael Cera such a friggin’ babe magnet? Does Scott Pilgrim’s Little Life run the risk of being, erm, Juno: Hipster Slayer? Good move for Wright?