Everybody’s Doing It April 27, 2011Posted by Kate in 20-24.
Tags: abstinence, armpit sex, box lunch, everybody's doing it, library sex, lizzy caplan, sex
If you like being angry at your government and your television at the same time, you should totally watch Everybody’s Doing It. Like all reasonable people, I love Lizzy Caplan and hate abstinence-only sex “education,” but cute girls and left wing ideals can’t save this didactic mess.
The movie starts by showing Angela (Lizzy Caplan) and Travis (some dude) falling in love throughout their sophomore year, then cuts to them loud slurpy kissing in a car after the spring semiformal. Angela unbuckles Travis’ belt, then decides she’s not ready to have sex and breaks up with him. Angela leaves to go build houses with Habitat for Humanity for the summer, but she and Travis decide to have sex if they still want to in September. The summer apart will prove that their love is real or something; I don’t know, teenagers are the worst.
Angela comes back to school ready to bone Travis, but she can’t because there’s a big assembly about how premarital sex is bad and the library’s been torn down and Caroline, the poor man’s Tracy Flick and the president of the school’s abstinence club, is pressuring everyone to sign virginity pledge cards.
The importance of remaining chaste until marriage is demonstrated with some kind of pizza metaphor.
There’s even a bunch of dancing STDs.
Angela is the only student who thinks this whole thing is ridiculous, and Travis gets totally pissed that she seems to know more about sex than the health teacher. He signs a pledge card without talking to Angela first.
Oh, and it gets worse: there’s a huge whiteboard with the names of all the students who signed a virginity pledge.
Students who break the pledge get their names crossed off.
You’re probably wondering how the school evens finds out who’s been screwing. Well, there’s a scholarship reserved for any students whose names are still on the board at graduation. The fewer students left over, the more money the virgins get. Students are encouraged to spy on one another, and to tell the school whenever somebody has sex.
Angela freaks out when she sees her name on the list, since she was outspoken in her refusal to sign the virginity pledge. She asks the librarian to remove her name from the board, but the librarian refuses to unless Angela admits to losing her virginity. Angela continues to insist that her sex life is none of the school’s business, and storms out. It’s never explained why the empty library needs a librarian. I guess she’s just there to watch teenagers have sex up against the bookless shelves.
Travis becomes super suspicious of any boy that Angela talks to, including her gay best friend and some dude she met through Habitat for Humanity. Poor Angela. She tries to talk to her sister, but her sister’s busy.
Angela continues to be the lone voice of reason in the school as the teachers allow Caroline to create a weird sex court in the library where she bangs a gavel and yells at students for hooking up, then crosses their name off the board while muttering “slut” under her breath. At one point, she draws a line through an entire column, which makes me think that we were cheated out of an orgy scene.
Finally, some other students grow a spine when they realize that oral and anal sex will get them crossed off the list. As confused and horny teenagers bombard Caroline with questions about what exactly they are allowed to do (someone actually uses the phrase “box lunch” in this scene), she yells that no penetration is allowed, not through “the front door, back door, or side door!” I’m confused about the side door thing. Rusty thinks it’s a reference to armpit sex.
Even more confusing than the concept of “side door” is the way Caroline, a crazy bitch with a display rack of eyeglasses in her locker, is allowed to spend the entire school day playing sex police. Everyone at Bonerkiller High must also be abstaining from going to class.
Angela must face Caroline in sex court, where she is accused of sleeping with the guy she met at Habitat for Humanity over the summer. Once again, she insists that her sex life is none of the school’s business, but Travis is pissed that she doesn’t deny it. Angela realizes that Travis must be the one who accused her. When she confronts him, he admits to signing her pledge card, too. Angela has no choice but to take off the promise ring he gave her and leave it in his locker. I guess they’re abstaining from locks at the school, too.
After a rash of students come down with sex rashes, the school reconsiders the effectiveness of the abstinence program. Caroline comes up with some bizarre idea that forces all students to sign up for the virginity pledge again. If all students sign it, they all get the scholarship money, but if less than 100 percent of students sign, nobody gets the money.
Because this movie is such an accurate portrayal of teenage behavior, everyone but Angela signs the pledge again. A meeting is called so that parents, teachers, and students can slutshame Angela into signing, but she tearily holds her ground. Just when you think that she’s going to get beaten to death by the angry, sex-starved mob, Travis walks to the front of the room and crosses his name off the pledge board. A bunch of other kids do the same thing.
Inspired by Angela’s speech and her peers’ support, the school decides to have two separate health classes: a comprehensive one, and an abstinence only one. Victory! Sort of.
Angela gets back with her possessive, controlling boyfriend, and they decide not to have sex. The end.
I’ll give this movie a point for saying “box lunch,” but this movie was billed as a comedy yet was rarely funny, intentionally or otherwise. It wasn’t bad enough to be so-bad-it’s-good, but it certainly wasn’t good, either.
HEY! IT’S THAT GUY!: 10
I love Lizzy Caplan, and she did about as good a job with this shitty movie as anyone could possibly hope.
I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, you’ve got moral panic and a woman who stands up for what she believes. On the other hand, you have a protagonist who ends up back together with her lame boyfriend.
GRAND TOTAL: 21
For a movie that tries so hard to teach a lesson, Everybody’s Doing It is shockingly bad at making its message clear. The moral of the story seems to be, “abstinence only sex ed is bad, sort of, but I guess it’s not that bad, and teenagers should have sex or not have sex or whatever and girls with glasses are nuts.”