Ashley Fetters appreciates how the new film The To Do List disrupts standard teenage sex tropes:
[The film] presents a less common kind of story about a girl having sex for the first time. Brandy loses her virginity to Rusty — who’s clearly not the guy she’s “meant to be with” — then has a moment of thoughtfulness before meeting up with her best friends right in time to announce her recent banging of Rusty Waters and then catch the rest of Beaches. When Brandy’s dad (a hilariously anal-retentive Clark Gregg) discovers what’s happened and races to her rescue, a calm Brandy reassures him, “I’m fine, Dad. I’m OK.”
By sidestepping the “emotional-trauma-after-virginity-loss” construct and replacing it with giddy detail-spilling among friends, The To Do List sends up both a female onscreen teen-virginity trope and a male one: The “late-blooming virgin loses it to generically hot rando, comes away with high-five-worthy story to tell buddies” theme crops up more often in stories about teenage boys. (See: American Pie, Sixteen Candles, Almost Famous, Porky’s, Road Trip, Losin’ It — and Superbad, kinda.) And perhaps more importantly, it provides a positive alternative outlook on what happens to girls who “give away their flower” or don’t “guard their carnal treasure“: Sometimes, they’re pretty much fine.