Fantastic voyage

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Centuries ago, all you needed for a comedy of errors were a few bored nobles, a harvest festival, maybe a woman disguised as a page boy. But this is 2008 in America - graveyard of subtlety, theme and quaint hooey.

As the teen comedy Sex Drive evinces, viewers now prefer a star-crossed journey of love and lust to involve things like public urination, Amish keg parties, hillbilly rage, prison sex and a young man forced to beat a possum to death with a tire iron.

Those are just some of the things experienced by Ian (Josh Zuckerman), a high-school grad who travels from Chicago to Nashville to meet an online crush named Ms. Tasty. Like all big-screen nice guys in need of an inaugural lay, he's best friends with a beautiful girl (Amanda Crew), has a lovable sidekick (Clark Duke) with a smoking jacket and knows absolutely nothing about approaching women.

Their desperate quest to pop Ian's cherry - in a stolen 1969 Pontiac GTO - makes Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle seem as noble as The Odyssey. And that's not really a bad thing.

Teen sex comedies are under the gun to be bigger, grosser and sexier, and this one delivers. The likeable cast oscillates ably between serious and stupid, and rather hilarious screenwriting keeps things moving quickly along a very bumpy ride.

"Sex Drive"

Opens Friday