The movie follows a group of young friends in the city of Tel Aviv and is as much a love song to the city as it is an exploration of the claim that people in Tel Aviv are isolated from the ... See full summary »
In London, England, love blooms between an American college student, named Lisa, and a British glaciologist, named Matt, where over the next few months in between attending rock concerts, the two lovers have intense sexual encounters.
The Dandy Warhols
A failed London musician meets once a week with a woman for a series of intense sexual encounters to get away from the realities of life. But when he begins inquiring about her, it puts their relationship at risk.
Although deeply in love with her boyfriend - and indeed sleeping in the same bed with him - a schoolteacher cannot handle the almost complete lack of intimacy he will allow. Increasingly ... See full summary »
After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.
A young writer becomes intrigued with a mysterious dark-haired woman who claims to be his long-lost sister and he begin an unusual relationship with her prompting a downward spiral involving his domineering mother and lovely fiancée
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
"We're hippies without hope," a character says in "Shortbus." He neglects to mention these people have their heads so far up their asses that they're practically autistic. No one in "Shortbus" is interested in anyone else except as fuel for their own self-image. They'd rather talk about their own needs and what they think their current boyfriends should need.
There is an Asian woman in "Shortbus" who cannot have an orgasm, but damned if she doesn't keep rubbing at it until, by her fourth attempt, we're sick to death of her. (My movie date asked if I smelled rubber burning.)
The rest of the cast are mostly twinks in their early thirties whose narcissism and angst make you want to shout "Have you ever thought of doing some volunteer work?" One of the drugged-out depressed queens suffers so much he feels he must immortalize it on video so others can appreciate his torment after he's dead.
There is a suicide scene in a pool that seems to be there so we can see more of what we've already seen plenty of (not that it's unattractive), and a rescue by yet another alienated twink who has been following all this with his own camera (Yes, another camera). It leads to what must be the film's true "message," a scene where someone plays bottom in anal sex for the first time. Now this might have been the place where the hardcore sex would have been really interesting. However this is one of the places where John Cameron Mitchell chose to be coy and there's only simulated sex. Wha?! Look, either do it or don't.
The great Justin Bond is photographed badly and not allowed to bring us the ripped-to-the-tits high energy fun he delivers any night in his great Kiki and Herb Show. In this home movie, he's reduced to being just another stoned bi-tranny, singing and babbling. Oh, and when the young dominatrix is on screen you can hear members of the audience murmuring "It's the Jennifer Jason Leigh" part.
As for the hardcore scenes, "Shortbus" fails in the same way other legit movies have failed when they tried to incorporate real sex into plot. It's the exhibitionism of the actors that we respond to, and when the sex is over and we're asked to go back to getting involved with these pathologically self-obsessed backward children we feel a little let down.
The trick to slice-of-life movies is to make the ordinary extraordinary. "Shortbus" with its vapid pretty twinks and its half-drawn frustrated women endlessly digging at themselves never does get as interesting at it thinks it is.
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