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Five 1990s Californian couples, wed but one, illustrate or contradict the sexual relationship theories of two TV talk show hosts. The women shamelessly presume all men, including theirs, to be unfaithful, yet embank on a girls-only trip to LA, which turns orgiastic to the point of adultery. Back home, loyalty and other complications arise, whether to tell the cuckolded partners or protect one's own buddies. Written by
On Sunday, my friend, Patty, and I went to see the first viewing of "After Sex." Because it was being shown as part of the SXSW Film Festival here in Austin, our chances of getting in were risky because we hadn't bought $55 passes for the festival. We had been watching the schedules for weeks because we thought "The Weekend" would be showing. But, two weeks ago, "After Sex" showed up on the schedule with no warning or advertisement. Because it looked like they were quietly sneaking it in for feedback, we thought we'd take a chance. We arrived an hour early, and sure enough not many festival-goers knew it was playing- so they opened up the movie to general admission. We got in for $4! By the time the movie started, though, it was a full house.
So, how was it? Not what I expected, which is a good thing. The movie is a fast-paced comedy about a group of friends: two married couples, one engaged couple, and a divorced woman. The film explores the relationships between men and women through these friends. The script is very fast-paced, and the camera angles are quirky. The soundtrack is excellent, and we found ourselves wanting to buy it as soon as the movie was over. Was it perfect? No. When the movie stuck to comedy, it was very good, sometimes hysterically funny. But, when it delved into the serious side of relationships, it was uneven. Not because of the writing, but because of the acting. All of the actors had great comedic timing, but a couple of them just didn't have the range to play "serious." (Notably, Brooke Shields and Dan Cortese) But, thankfully, their crying jags were brief and didn't detract from the movie too much.
And what about D.B. Sweeney? Terrific! He plays a husband opposite Virginia Madsen, and the two show the best acting of the movie. His character is this sweet lug who reads self-help books to make sure his marriage stays strong and, God bless him, he has no idea what to do with the information! He has some of the funniest lines in the movie, and honestly, I missed some of them because the audience was laughing so hard. When this movie comes out, be sure and catch the first scene with him and Virginia Madsen. I call it the watch scene, and maybe it was so funny because I'm married, but I was laughing about it even after the movie ended. These two also did a great job when the mood got heavier. The last scene with them is beautifully done, and it doesn't dawn on you until later that the two never speak a word.
I think the movie will be a sleeper. The audience gave it a round of applause, and I'd love to see it again when it's released. There have been so few movies lately that are just enjoyable and fun to watch, but this is definitely one of them.
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