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You follow a a person through their life highlighting the moments when
they are concerned/talking about sex. After they have sex, you follow
their partner until that person's next encounter, and so on. 7 or 8
people in all, seeing their sex life from their perspective. A lot of
viewpoints, perspectives and situations.
Its an enjoyable romp :) through these lives, frame-worked by time spent with the beginning and ending character "lorna", who makes the movie. The story and situations themselves lacked imagination. The dialog was smart, maybe the best part. The score was nice listening and went well with the brisk pace. Overall it was kind of stale. Cute and lame.
The idea of the film seems to be inspired in Max Ophuls' "La Ronde",
that classic French film that showed how much life is inter connected,
which in itself was based on Arthur Schnitzler's play. The theme has
been explored in other films, and it probably was what the director of
"Sexual Life", Ken Kwapis, wanted to explore.
Each person we watch from the beginning, has something to do with someone else, and so on. Sex is what seems to hold these people together. We start with the high priced prostitute and end up with her. In between we get to see how a group of young Los Angeles residents having sexual encounters that are the basis of their coming into each other's orbits. Sex seems to be not a big deal with them and nothing is forever, as we watch them going in their own ways to a new relationship without any guilt at all.
The cast assembled do a pretty good job in their different portrayals. Azira Skye, as the prostitute has some good moments. Kevin Corrigan, Anne Heche, Shirley Knight, Fionnula Flanagan, Kerry Washington, Tom Everett Scott, James Legros and the beautiful Elizabeth Banks, do excellent work under the guidance of Mr. Kwapis.
"Sexual Life" has a great contemporary look. While sex seems to be what consumes all the parties in the movie, it makes for a good excuse to watch some of the best young actors working in movies today having fun.
I admit it... I watched this movie for the title. I live in a highly
censored country yet they were showing it on Star Movies! I expected
B-movie tawdry but was rewarded with a good movie about sex.
The movie is a decent exploration of the ripple effect of sex -- not a masterpiece -- but a thoughtful look at the subject.
It's not a spoiler to say that the story line jumps from partner to partner through a series of sexual encounters. At times, the links loop around to reveal connection even the character are unaware of.
It reminded me of the STD warnings that when you have sex with a person, you are also having sex with every one of THEIR partners.
With any ensemble caste movie, the acting isn't equal but there really is no bad acting in this film. I thought Anne Heche really stood out and her performance makes this a "must see" for Heche fans (like me.)
If I was a TV director, I'd take this idea and turn it into a mini-series. Each one of the sub-plots could have been given given its own 73-minute treatment and explored a few of the loose ends that could not be developed in 96 minutes.
In a sense, this film is a variation on "Closer," without the sinister edges. It follows the lives, particularly the sexual lives of eight or 10 characters. By linking the characters through chance encounters and physical attraction, the film weaves a tapestry of deceit, hunger, yearning, and the longing to lead other lives. Like "Closer," the characters flirt, dally and feel the sting of regret as they explore the edges of their sexual confines. Throughout the film, characters step outside the roles to which their lives confine them. High-class prostitute (Azura Skye) abruptly quits the job in search of a new life. The vice mayor's son Jerry (Dule Hill) expresses his frustration at always being "the good son." The wedding photographer (Tom Scott) wants to quit paying for sex and find a permanent real relationship. They are lives of longing broken by moments of intense heat. The characters are well-drawn. But, like "Closer," the view ultimately finds it hard to empathize with them. Like the aftermath of sex without live, the movie leaves an empty feeling.
This is an excellent, non-linear film of intimate social mores. The dialog is very well written, with completely believable characters. It is at times funny, heartbreaking, and on some levels disturbing. The acting is world-class, with a wonderful cast. It deals with the complexity of one's sexual life, which can take directions that are against one's overall health and integrity. Each scene was tight and spare, leading beautifully into the next. Human sexuality is probably one of the great mysteries, and it has been given a brilliant and unyielding observation here. The score was at times breathtakingly beautiful. I hope to see more from this writer, director and composer.
Just follow's various people lives with the focus on sex. No clear
message, no life changing outlooks. Pretty ordinary, yet mildly
entertaining. A bit of truth came out in the fact that not many of us
have perfect sex lives, no matter what our circumstances. But again, no
noticeable messages to take home with you.
Acting was not horrible either, but no one stood out. Think I spotted the guy from Grounded For Life in the second scene. Not really much else to say about this one, other than don't expect much except to maybe pass some time.
Didn't hate it... but won't remember it after today.
"Sexual Life" takes a superficial look at the romantic inclinations or disinclinations of several disparate but loosely interconnected Los Angeles couples as it flows serially from one couple to the next, eventually coming full circle in the end. The common denominator is sex and other relationship salients though the film is quite tame and has a kind of mellow and understated feel to it. The couples range from a call girl and her client to a married couple to a betrothed couple, etc. all obviously carefully planned to provide a range of possibilities for both auteur and audience. Though there's little new to be found between the credits, this is a pleasant little dramedy which handles the subject matter delicately in deference to more edgy and sexually explicit genre motifs. "Sexual Life", built from B listers and a step down for Heche, is a winsome little indie for those who want to glean it from broadcast. (B-)
Writer/Director Ken Kwapis ('About a Boy', 'Sisterhood of the Traveling
Pants', episodes on TV series 'ER', 'The Office', 'Malcolm in the
Middle', etc) knows his ways around the ups and downs of contemporary
relationships, weighing the importance of the physical aspect of the
union against the para-physical benefits and makes no prescription for
which is of more importance. SEXUAL LIFE explores several couples whose
married or about to be married status receives the testing of
A wedding photographer is frustrated with his executive girlfriend's lack of intimacy and seeks physical satisfaction through an upscale prostitute who has her own rather solid ground views of her business. The photographer's girlfriend is finding physical satisfaction with her married architect boss who in turn is trying to hide his infidelity from his wife who in turn feels she must seek outside satisfaction with an old college flame who happens to be gay and she turns to a hotel clerk at the point of a fantasy liaison for gratification. The hotel clerk happens to be having an affair with an engaged African American girl and is frustrated about her impending marriage to a frustratedly 'correct' African American male who feels he is following a proscribed duty and seeks attention from the prostitute who opens the whole story. How these intersecting couples work out their dilemmas and resolve their individual needs for expanded physical needs in the presence of the safety of relationships is the clever puzzle Kwapis presents - with the conclusions primarily left up to us, the viewers.
The cast is homogeneously fine and attractive - Eion Bailey, Elizabeth Banks, Fionnula Flanagan, Anne Heche, Dule Hill, Sam Jaeger, Kerry Washington, Steven Weber, Steven Williams, Shirley Knight, James LeGros, Tom Everett Scott, and Azura Skye along with the minor characters. Kwapis keeps the flow integrated so that the story does indeed seem like a series of coincidences. The sexual scenes are more suggested than graphic and should not offend even the most skeptical viewer. This was, after all, a movie made for Showtime TV, but it stands very well as a tightly conceived and acted lesson about relationships. Well worth watching. Grady Harp
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ken Kwapis directs this comedic drama using an ensemble to reveal the hopes, fears, lies, secrets and heartbreaks of several people whose lives actually intersect by way of shared sex partners. There is the whimsy, compassion, sympathetic and power of sex. A young prostitute Lorna(Azure Skye)seems to be searching for the difference between sex and love; finding that sex is very illusionary and at the same time a neccessatity and a deal breaker. Is sex stronger than those ties that bind? Can sex really substitute for a long goodbye? Along with the cute and overly affectionate Skye is: Carla Gallo, Tom Everett Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Steven Weber and Anne Heche. Strong sexual dialog and situations with nudity earn an R rating. Not out loud funny, but entertaining.
I usually enjoying choosing a film rental which does not tout big-name
actors. Fresh faces & talent breathe new life into the medium.
"Talent," however, is key. "Sexual Life" certainly has ambition, but
the ambition never gets out of the gate. The narratives remain
superficial; the acting is not of a high caliber. The film was
With 9 characters, one would hope that a film entitled "Sexual Life" might explore something more than boy-on-girl sexual relationships. Yawn! There is one gay character, but he is on screen for 3 minutes, sharing a dinner with Anne Heche's character.
Azura Skye shows promise here. She should have received top billing.
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