Aubrey Plaza’s new ‘To-Do List’ looks both filthy and funny

I hope audiences take to Aubrey Plaza as a lead in films, because I think she is fascinating.

Her particular brand of emotional reserve is a very specific comic voice, and not one that we see all the time. She’s strikingly pretty, but that’s not what makes her so compulsively watchable. I think it’s the fact that you can see this constant barrage of thoughts just behind her eyes, this constant sizing up of the people around her, that makes her such a quiet gem on “Parks and Recreation.” One of the reasons “Safety Not Guaranteed” worked was because of the value of her oh-so-rarely-seen smile and the effective deployment of it at key moments.

Now she’s working with writer/director Maggie Carey, who also has her own specific comic voice, and when I visited the set of the movie, they were still trying to pin down a new title instead of what it was when it was set up originally, “The Hand Job.” Looking at the new red-band trailer that showed up online today, “The To-Do List” makes perfect sense as a replacement, and it’s not like people are in any danger of missing the point.

The trailer makes the premise seem very simple:  a girl who has spent her entire high-school career overachieving realizes that she knows nothing about sex, and she sets out to learn everything she can before college. The film’s filled with comic actors like Alia Shawkat, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Johnny Simmons, Donald Glover, DC Pierson, Dominic Dierkes, and more, and this is our first look at the film.

It looks like for all the talk of sex, it’s going to actually be something sweeter and more character-driven than just a check-list of crazy things. It also looks like they’re having a lot of fun with the early ’90s fashion. Here’s I know I’m old… this is nostalgia piece about a high school experience from 20 years ago, and it’s set after I graduated high school. So while “The To Do List” trailer is promising, I am now completely depressed.

Thanks a lot, Aubrey Plaza.

“The To-Do List” is in theaters July 26, 2013.