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Shortbus (2006)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  20 October 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 26,402 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 205 user | 159 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality.

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7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
PJ DeBoy ...
Caleb, the Stalker
Jay Brannan ...
Alan Mandell ...
Tobias, the Mayor
Jesse, the John
Ray Rivas ...
Bitch ...
Bitch / Shortbus House Band
Shanti Carson ...
Leah, the Beautiful Couple
Jan Hilmer ...
Nick, the Beautiful Couple
Stephen Kent Jusick ...


Numerous New York City dwellers come to the exclusive club Shortbus to work out problems in their sexual relationships. Rob and Sophia are a happily married couple, except for the fact that she has never experienced sexual climax. This irony follows her to work because she is a couples counselor who frequently has to deal with the sexual issues other couples have. Two of her patients are Jamie and James, a gay couple who have been monogamous for five years and counting. James wants to bring other men in to the relationship, and his own history with depression may hint at an ulterior motive. Ceth (pronounced Seth) may be the perfect addition to their family, but Caleb, a voyeur from across the street, may have his own ideas about that. Sophia visits Severin, a dominatrix with secrets of her own to reveal. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Open Your Mind. And Everything Else. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sex Film Project  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$107,907 (USA) (6 October 2006)


$1,984,378 (USA) (2 February 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During auditioning and casting, any interested actors were to submit a 10-minute video of themselves describing an important sexual experience. The director received approximately 500 tapes. See more »


When viewing his profile Ceth reads Magnum's "measurements". An important one is listed as 15cm, which receives a gasp from Sofia. In reality 15cm is a bit under 6 inches, which is about average. See more »


[first lines]
Jesse, the John: Are you a top or a bottom?
Severin: I beg your pardon?
Jesse, the John: I mean in real life.
Severin: This is real life.
Jesse, the John: Let me put it this way: do you think we should get out of Iraq?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The orgy participants seen throughout Club Shortbus are credited as 'Sextras' at the end of the film. See more »


Referenced in The Trouble with Barry (2013) See more »


What Matters to Me
Performed by Tiebreaker
Written by John LaMonica II
Published by EKM Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of John LaMonica
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Funny, fantastic. Nearly a masterpiece. Don't miss it.
29 September 2006 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

"Shortbus" is impossible to summarize, and in the future film students will write books about it. it's hysterically funny, wonderfully smart, and totally endearing.  It's also been marginalized by an infantile media that refuses to talk about anything other than the guy who can "do" himself. Don't fall for their bait: this film is brilliant.

"Shortbus" puts sex in perspective -- as a part of all our lives -- and thumbs its nose to the puritanical ratings board and to the puritanical country we live in.  This is a Robert Altmanesque tale of six or seven young New Yorkers, and being honest it follows their (quirky, unflinchingly honest, hysterically funny) sex lives too.  It's wonderful and refreshing and ground-breaking and the bravest film in years.  It shows America in no uncertain terms that having to cut sex out of movies to make them "safe" also cuts out their . . . well, I'll say "guts."

Anyway, run to see it -- in a theater, not on DVD.  It defines our time. I have no connection with the film, didn't expect to like it, and didn't like "Hedwig," so I'm astonished that it's the best film of the year. It's funnier than Woody Allen and seriously hits masterpiece at points -- though it's admittedly a little ragged, unwieldy and low-budget.  Lots of quotable lines, but I'll give just one that beautifully defines our time:  This guy hosts a salon, and a new girl visits.  In one room there are like thirty people having sex.  "It's just like the seventies!" the host says brightly.  "Except, without the hope."

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Why are all the guys circumcised? pjdavid
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