SAN DIEGO – “The To-Do List” linked up with HitFix for a party at Comic-Con this year, but before we could put our party pants on, the film’s stars Aubrey Plaza and Alia Shawkat and I needed to hack our way through the 1990s.
The flick centers on Plaza’s enterprising high-schooler Brandy Klark, whose sexual experiences become goals on a to-do list in much the same way she’d study for a test. Shawkat plays one of her best friends Fiona, and they are featured in all manner of 1993: from Caboodles to Gin Blossoms and — God help us — overalls (on men and women).
I know for this writer it brought back some pretty keen memories of the age and the era.
“I remember going like, ‘Oh shit we’re playing teenagers.’ After we shot the first day I was like, I really need to check in with playing an actual teenager and not just a precocious know-it-all,” Shawkat said in our interview. “So i kinda hung out with teens… got stoned with them. Y’know just for research…”
The two actresses dropped a couple of names and music notes from the ’90s like New Kids on the Block and Devon Sawa and “90210.” But “The To-Do List” was actually originally titled “The Handjob,” so the actresses felt there was some other prep work and research to do.
“We all gave each other handjobs, to get into the characters,” Plaza said.
“We introduced ourselves while two hand simultaneously…” said Shawkat.
“The director forced us to it.”
We talked about the occurrence of the female orgasm on film especially since titles like “American Pie” and “40-Year-Old Virgin” had their own first-timers theme (but with men). Plaza described what it was like to act out her O-face in front of the “To-Do” crew.
“Breathing is a private thing. You don’t want a bunch of grown crew members watching you breath heavily,” Plaza explained.
“And they were not shy about their boners. They were popping up all over the place.”
“‘I can’t even get to my mark there’s so many boners.'”
Boop! Check out the rest of our discussion of Kriss Kross, oral sex with Donald Glover, getting drunk at breakfast and all other manner of plain-speaking the word “penis.”
“The To-Do List” heads to theaters on July 26.