Sex Drive Movie - About the Story

About the Story

Producer Bob Levy didn’t have to look far to discover the source material for his latest feature film project. Levy is head of the film and television division of Alloy Entertainment, which published All the Way, the young adult novel by Andy Behrens on which Sex Drive is based. Alloy, which was founded by Leslie Morgenstein, also a producer on Sex Drive, has found a unique niche in the entertainment industry. The company previously produced the popular “Gossip Girls” television series and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie franchise, both developed from books that Alloy publishes.

With the novel in hand, the producers’ next step was to find screenwriters capable of translating the story from the page to the big screen. Levy and Morgenstein met with a number of writers before selecting the team of Sean Anders and John Morris to adapt the book into an outrageous and uproarious script that was eventually dubbed Sex Drive.

“Once we met Sean and John and heard their vision of this movie, it was clear sailing,” says Levy. “They came in and blew us out of the room with a take that was a thousand percent smarter, funnier and more real than anything else we heard. They had figured out exactly how to translate the book into a movie.”

Morris and Anders had previously collaborated on the teen-oriented comedy, Never Been Thawed, which became a cult hit on college campuses across the country. From the beginning, they were determined to put their unique stamp on the project. “The film is quite a bit different from the book that Bob sent us,” says Anders, who also directed the film. “But it has the same general premise: Kid drives across the country to lose his virginity. John and I enjoyed it and immediately started talking about how to make it more cinematic and fun and crazy.”

The pair took inspiration for Sex Drive from the films of John Hughes, the auteur of adolescent adventures like Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles. “Like Hughes we started with story and characters,” says Anders. “When we felt we had that nailed down, then we would think, how could this be funny? And we would try to make it funny.”

According to Levy, that’s an understatement of the team’s talents. “It’s one thing to be funny—there are a lot of funny writers in Hollywood,” he points out. “These guys are also smart. They’ve created great, original jokes, but they’re also telling a magnificent story filled with really deep, rich characterizations. To find that skill-set in one package is a very rare thing.
“There are people in this business who’ve been pounding away for years,” says the producer. “These guys have only been at it for a short time. Hollywood is the last great meritocracy and their rise has been really meteoric. John and Sean are the real deal.”

Levy describes the plot of Sex Drive as an archetypal human story. “It’s about looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s about thinking what you want is sex and realizing what you need is love.”

That underlying theme is what Levy says makes the film work on many different levels. “It’s smart. It’s stupid. It’s emotional. It’s physical. It’s witty. It’s sexual. It’s about courage and fear. Putting so many different kinds of things together makes the storytelling richer, makes all the jokes funnier and makes you love all the characters even more.”

From the very first meeting, Anders pitched himself to direct the movie as well as script it. Despite having only one previous feature under his belt, he approached the project with the sure hand of a veteran, says Levy. “He really zeroed in on exactly what the tone of this movie should be—a sort of heightened fun reality. To a great extent, the humor depends on a balance between the three kids, who are strongly grounded in reality, and the slightly heightened characters and situations that befall them on the road. But the core of the journey is the real and relatable characters.”

“Of course, the film has a fair share of broad, as well as smart, humor,” observes actor Clark Duke, who plays the unlikely teen Lothario, Lance. “I wouldn’t compare the movie to American Pie so much as to an ‘80s comedy. It’s sort of screwball, but Josh, Amanda and I went at our characters from a naturalistic place. Some of the stuff that happens is ridiculous, in a good way, but the main three characters are going at it from a realistic perspective.”

Seth Green, who is unforgettable in a fine supporting role as a sardonic Amish car mechanic, notes that the alchemy of comedy is more art than science. “It’s always a roll of the dice and somewhat lucky when you get the right group of people together with the right director and the right material. You never know until you get there. I was happy that when I got here that’s exactly what I got.

“You’d never have known that Sean was not a long-time director,” says the prolific young actor whose numerous memorable roles have ranged from Scott Evil in the Austin Powers trilogy to the voice of Chris Griffin on “Family Guy.” “He is knowledgeable and has a really clear sense of what it is that he wants. He’s also got great taste in comedy and such a keen sense of what it’s going to look like at the end. But he’s also open to spontaneity, which is a really good quality, because we had a lot of people who could riff brilliantly if given the opportunity. Sean was really good at catching the right moments and letting them play out.”

Producer Bob Levy concurs. “It was such a pleasure to be on the set and watch brilliantly funny people do what they do best. To see Sean give them the comfort and security and license to be themselves and to be funny and to be comedians was inspiring.”

Sex Drive Movie Synopsis


Eighteen-year-old Ian Lafferty sets out on a cross country drive with his best friends Lance and Felicia in order to lose his virginity to a red-hot babe he met on the Internet. But the journey, filled with hilarious misadventures and raunchy escapades, turns out to be a life-changing experience when everything he thinks he knows about life is turned upside down.
Randy, raucous and unexpectedly romantic, Sex Drive follows three teenaged friends on the road trip of a lifetime. The film stars Josh Zuckerman (Lions for Lambs), Amanda Crew (The Haunting in Connecticut), Clark Duke (“Geek”), James Marsden (Enchanted) and Seth Green (Austin Powers in Goldmember), with a supporting cast that includes Alice Greczyn (Shrooms), Katrina Bowden (“30 Rock”), Charlie McDermott (The Ten) and Mark L. Young (“Dexter). Sean Anders (Never Been Thawed) directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with John Morris (She’s Out of My League), based on the novel All the Way by Andy Behrens. The producers are John Morris, Leslie Morgenstein (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and Bob Levy (“Gossip Girl”), with Mike Nelson serving as executive producer.

The production team includes director of photography Tim Orr (Year of the Dog), production designer Aaron Osborne (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), editor George Folsey, Jr. (Cheaper by the Dozen) and costume designer Kristin M. Burke (The Grudge 2).

An Alloy Entertainment Production for Summit Films, Sex Drive was filmed on location in South Florida.

At 18, Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) is struggling through his last summer before college, and he can’t seem to catch a break. He’s taunted by his cocksure older brother Rex, shown up in the romance department by his 14-year-old younger brother and humiliated by his job at the donut shop in the mall. But Ian’s biggest problem is that he’s about to start college as a virgin! He’s determined to rectify that before he officially becomes a freshman and his devil-may-care pal Lance (Clark Duke) is on hand to help.

A total washout out with the girl of his dreams and longtime “best friend” Felicia (Amanda Crew), Ian resorts to the Internet for dates. He soon hooks up with Ms. Tasty, a flaming hot blonde who can’t wait to get busy. But there’s one tiny catch: Ian has to drive 500 miles from Chicago to Knoxville to consummate the deal.

Egged on by Clark, Ian risks life and limb by appropriating “The Judge,” Rex’s prized vintage Pontiac GTO, for a cross-country “sex drive.” With Lance and Felicia in tow, he hits the road for a one-time rendezvous that will rock his world!

But the planned eight-hour drive turns into a three-day marathon as the trio loses its way in the Heartland and ends up taking a scenic tour of Midwestern back roads. With his would-be lover growing increasingly impatient and his older brother due back from a weekend trip at any moment, Ian is in a race against the clock.

Car trouble, a stint in the pokey, a detour to an Amish farm and an afternoon at a roadside carnival all complicate Ian’s journey, but it’s Lance’s overactive libido that really threatens to derail his plans, as Lance enters into a dangerous liaison with a loose local and hooks up with an Amish girl enjoying Rumspringa.

As Ian presses on to get to Knoxville before Ms. Tasty gives up and goes home, the trail of mayhem and misadventure that he and his companions have left in their wake is closing in on them with hilarious consequences. Will Rex find him before he reaches Nirvana? Will a cuckolded husband exact revenge on Lance just as he seems to have found true love? Will Ms. Tasty live up to her Internet profile? Will Ian realize what it is he really wants? And most importantly, Will Ian, Felicia and Lance survive the perilous road to adulthood with all its unexpected twists and turns?

My Best Friend's Girl’s complicated love triangle

Widely known for his performances in the AMERICAN PIE series, Jason Biggs completes MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL’s complicated love triangle as Dustin, Tank’s best friend who can’t stop pining obsessively – maybe a little too obsessively – for Alexis. “The word ‘stalker’ comes to mind,” says Biggs, laughing. “He’s a sweetheart, though. He’s the guy who, on paper, is the perfect boyfriend, but he’s probably a little too much, and he comes to realize that later.”
For Cook, it was crucial to find a co-star with whom he could form a believable on-screen friendship. “It’s very important that audience senses a real bond and chemistry between these two guys,” he says. “I knew immediately when I met Jason that we were in great shape. We have a back and forth and a banter that’s unique.”

“Jason’s energy is lovely,” adds Hudson. “He’s so talented, and he’s so present, and he’s really funny, and he’s so much fun to work with. Every once in a while you meet certain people throughout your career who inspire you and who you keep with you. And Jason is really one of those people. I really enjoyed working with him.”

Actress Lizzy Caplan, who recently appeared in the J.J. Abrams-produced CLOVERFIELD, relished the opportunity to play Amy, Alexis’ foul-mouthed roommate. “I never get to take it really over the top and I was excited to do that, definitely,” she says. “Amy is filthy and says a lot of very, very dirty things. She’s the one who encourages Alexis to go out and get it on.”
Rounding out the all-star cast is the inimitable “30 Rock” star, Alec Baldwin, who makes a priceless appearance as Tank’s father, Professor Turner, a liberal academic at a women’s college who’s secretly a raging chauvinist and womanizer. “Turner is the most disgusting, sexually selfish guy I’ve seen in a film in a long, long time,” admits Baldwin. “You talk about male chauvinist pig, this guy is a whole pig farm of male chauvinism. He’s horrible. People are going to laugh at this guy, because it’s funny. But it’s sick and it’s sad. I want people to laugh and cry.”
“All of us had a blast with Alec,” reports Deutch. “He has as much range as anyone I’ve ever worked with. He’s able to be hilariously funny and also powerfully dramatic in the same moment. That’s very difficult. He’s got a unique barometer as an actor where he can practically direct himself.”

Cook felt an immediate kinship with Baldwin on set which only enhanced their on-screen relationship as father and son. “Alec Baldwin is a classic,” he says. “He comes in with just an unbelievable energy and understanding of this character. Working with him is like putting on that favorite pair of jeans, you know. He’s inspiring.”

Baldwin was equally impressed with Cook and his ability to carry the responsibilities of a leading man. “I really wasn’t prepared for how much I would like Dane. There aren’t a lot of guys who are comics and who audiences really want to see kiss the girl. I think there are a lot of movies that Dane could do. He’s a very intense guy and very talented.”

For director Howie Deutch, making MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL was an opportunity to return to the kind of storytelling that marked his 1980s hits, PRETTY IN PINK and SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. “I haven’t had a chance to get back to a romantic movie in a long time, a funny movie that’s based on relationships,” says the director. “I’m really interested in relationships and why we’re together, what makes them click. I could watch a guy and a girl having a date, you know, for hours, just watching what they do.”

“Howie has experience with some of the greats in comedy, like Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau,” says Cook. “He knows comedy, but he also brings depth to his directing. I trust him enough to ask a lot of questions. He’s been an incredible mentor on this film.”

“Great directors don’t transmit their tension when they’re working, and that’s Howie,” adds Baldwin. “No one is more enjoyable to shoot with.”

The cast particularly appreciated the improvisation that Deutch encouraged on set. In some cases, the director would keep the camera rolling, calling for continuous takes until they ran out of film. “Howie’s one of those people who really wants everybody to feel like they have a hand in developing their character. That’s one of the best feelings you can have on a movie set,” says Hudson.

Deutch explains that he’s a firm believer in improvisation, but only if the ad-libs are layered into the text. “The foundation of the scene has to be there first,” he says. “This script is incredibly funny, so it was easier to transition into improv because the material was there.”

Filming for the production took place on location in Boston, Massachusetts, which was a significant homecoming for Cook, who originally hails from Arlington, a Boston suburb. “I first stepped onto a comedy stage in Harvard Square in 1990, in Cambridge, and I’ve wanted to come back to Boston and work for quite some time. It’s been a dream of mine. And doing a movie with Kate Hudson and Jason Biggs and Howie Deutch and Alec Baldwin–” He laughs. “It’s almost like, any minute now I’m going to wake up and hopefully not be back in 10th grade, still day-dreaming in Mr. Russell’s history class.”

“Boston is a great town, “ adds Hudson. “It’s kind of like an east coast San Francisco. It’s a big sports town, which I love, because I grew up with all brothers and I love my sports. I love football. So I got to go to some football games.”

Looking back on production, Hudson is most thankful for the relaxed atmosphere on set and the cohesive feeling among the cast. “We all really enjoyed playing the characters we played,” she says. “We all got funny set pieces to do. We all were able to show certain things we haven’t done before. And Howie just sort of let us roll with it and have a really good time doing it. It was a great experience.”

My Best Friend's Girl, Dane Cook

While he is widely known for his legendary, kinetic stand-up routines, Dane Cook has also proven himself a sturdy leading man in features, from the slacker superstore clerk in EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH to the cursed suitor in GOOD LUCK CHUCK. But for his next comedy, Cook was eager to find something that more accurately matched his comedic sensibility. “We wanted something with edge,” says producer Brian Volk-Weiss, who is also Cook’s manager. “Dane’s humor has a lot of edge and this script nailed it perfectly. As soon as I read it, I called Dane. When Dane read it, he immediately called me and said, ‘This is it. This is it.’”

A self-professed bachelor with no interest in love, Tank is, initially at least, not the sort of guy you would wish on anyone. Guys who’ve lost their girlfriends hire Tank to date their exes; and he ensures the experience is so awful that those girls run with newfound appreciation back to their old beaus. “Tank is in many ways as despicable a guy as you will ever meet,” says producer Greg Lessons. “Every awful quality in every guy out there, that’s Tank. But, at his core, he’s a romantic. What he actually does is bring people together. He would deny it. And the movie is essentially about the repressed romantic part of him busting out when it hits him.”

Says producer Josh Shader, “I think audiences are really going to enjoy getting to see Dane Cook be a character that really lets Dane be Dane. He finally gets to play a role where he gets to let it all out, both comedically and emotionally.”

“Look at what Dane does in his comedy routines,” says producer Adam Herz. “He’s fearless on stage and he’s fearless in front of the camera. Every time he dips into that well, the bucket comes up full of something.”

Cook confesses that he was excited by the prospect of playing someone as extreme as Tank. “That was really alluring, and something that I wanted to be able to play with,” says the comedian. “It’s fun being bad! Everybody likes a villain. Everybody likes the bad guy. But we also like when there’s a turn, and that’s what happens with Tank.”

Still, Tank’s contradictions posed a considerable challenge for Cook as an actor. Could he score laughs playing the depraved bachelor yet still earn the audience’s sympathy as Tank embarks on the rocky road to emotional maturity? Cook’s and Deutch’s answer was to play Tank’s struggle as authentically as possible. “This movie’s always been to me about one man’s journey to becoming a man,” explains director Howie Deutch. “It’s not all about telling jokes. It’s about being real and having the audience get invested in the character.”

“To play the character of Tank,” adds producer Doug Johnson, “you have to have that confidence, that swagger, and be vulnerable and real. That’s what Dane captured. There’s a romantic and emotional quality in this movie that I think is going to take some people by surprise.”

Much of the charm of MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL stems from Alexis’ and Tank’s unlikely pairing, and the rare connection they find despite their differences. Unlike other women, Alexis is wise to Tank’s moves, which leaves him at first bewildered, then impressed, and finally, completely infatuated. “It’s an absolutely hysterical thing to watch the two of them bounce off each other,” says producer Barry Katz. “And also personally, off camera, Kate and Dane got along great. They’re very cool together and it was just a lot of fun to be around both of them.”

“There’s no doubt about it. Kate has incredible chemistry with Dane,” says Deutch. “It’s like nitro and glycerin. It’s really explosive.”

Hudson was impressed with Cook’s energy and commitment to his acting. She explains, “Dane really cares about what he does. He focuses on his performance and really wants it to be good. And that’s an amazing quality to work with and to see in someone.”

“Working with Kate was a breath of fresh air,” avows Cook. “When it comes to an actor who really listens, there’s nobody better than her. Nothing gets past her. Volleying with her was incredible. I was always hoping for another take, you know, thinking, ‘What can I throw at her, how can I challenge her this time?’”

Two romantic leads in Lionsgate’s My Best Friend's Girl

At first glance, Tank and Alexis, the two romantic leads in Lionsgate’s MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL, seem like the furthest thing from a compatible couple, and most definitely not the stuff from which romantic comedies are traditionally made. Tank is a perennial bachelor who’s turned his talent for offending and manipulating women into a lucrative side job. And Alexis, the ideal woman for any marriage-minded man, is tired of monogamous relationships and just wants casual sex. That true romance, and even love, would emerge from their unlikely pairing is the spiky charm that distinguishes MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL from the pack of romantic comedy lookalikes.

“Relationships are far from picture perfect in this movie,” says star Kate Hudson, who plays Alexis. “It’s never picture perfect. Everybody’s human. Everybody makes mistakes. This movie is willing to look at those messy things and allows you to laugh at them along the way.”
“The thing that’s unique about this movie is that neither of the lead characters even wants to fall in love,” adds co-star Dane Cook. “It’s not a traditional romantic comedy in any sense. But even though it has an edge, it’s filled with heart, too.”

Hudson readily admits that Alexis’ desire to play the field after years of monogamous relationships is not the typical starting point for a romantic comedy heroine. A successful lawyer, Alexis begins MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL by ending her relationship with obsessively overeager Dustin (AMERICAN PIE’s Jason Biggs) and deciding to take advantage of her single status. “For the first time ever in a movie I end up being kind of like the guy,” says Hudson. “Alexis feels like she needs to get out there and be young and not so regimented, so she starts doing little booty calls and saying, ‘Yeah, I can do this. I can date like this. I can be unemotional about it.’”
While Tank seems like the ideal partner for commitment-free, casual sex, Alexis’ emotions come into play despite her best efforts to avoid them. Says Hudson, “When she meets Tank, he unleashes a side of her that she’s never experienced before. And of course, inevitably, she ends up enjoying it a lot.”

While Hudson has been able to flex her comedic muscles in past projects like HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS and YOU, ME AND DUPREE, MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL presented the actress with a refreshing opportunity: starring in an R-rated romantic comedy. “I finally got to swear and say and do certain things that most people say to each other in normal, everyday life,” says Hudson. “I got a little taste of what those ‘Sex and the City’ girls were up to for so long, which was fun.” She laughs. “I’ve never looked into a box of masturbatory aides on film before.”

One of Hudson’s favorite experiences during production was shooting a scene in which Tank brings Alexis to a strip club. Tank does so with the sole intention of offending her, but Alexis is too drunk to take offense and actually ends up enjoying herself. “That was a really funny moment,” admits Hudson. “I was excited to do that scene when I read it. I don’t think I’ve ever been drunk in a movie. It was great to be a little crazy and not care. There’s a lot of stuff I got to do in this that was fun that I haven’t done before. This really was a new kind of movie for me to do.”