Sex and love. Some seek it, some need it, some spurn it and some pay for it, but we're all involved in it. Set on one afternoon on Hampstead Heath, London, the film investigates the minutiae of seven couples. What makes us tick?
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Various Londeners meet people in Hampstead Heath park. Financial adviser Billy, a successful casual sex seeker, discusses the pros, contras and how of his child-wish. Cheeky Noel innocent pick-up lines lead only to cruelty from girls, once even abandoned jeans on ankles. Gerry's promising blind date picnic ends as abruptly when his business partner turns up, who just agreed a Barbados holiday with his steady girl. Eddie discovers trough a date mix-up that Iris, his ripe age, who come to the same park weekly too but a day earlier, was his prospective mate until they each met their now late partners decades ago. Pete comes settle the end of a marriage that shouldn't have happened except for his daughter. Written by
'Scenes of a Sexual Nature': not a disclaimer but a joy
The British have done it again - successfully shown how talent, ensemble attitude, prudent production values, and esprit de corps can result in a first class thoughtful comedy of life. A first outing for writer Aschlin Ditta and director Ed Blum, this entertaining, intelligent and beautifully wrought film is a veritable showcase of some of Britain's finest actors.
The concept is a simple one: one sunny afternoon on Hampstead Heath overlooking London the camera moves among seven couples acting out the sexual overtones of relationships. No, there is no graphic action here: it is absolutely unnecessary, so candid and intelligent is the script. The couples we meet are 1) Eileen Atkins and Benjamin Whitrow, two alone, aging characters whose proclivity for weekly visits to the same bench result in a courtship dance of sorts; 2) Andrew Lincoln and Holly Aird discussing their rather dry state of marriage as Andrew's eyes understandably caress the beautiful Eglantine Rembauville-Nicolle reading Camus nearby, causing a crack in the couple's marriage; 3) Sophie Okenedo distraught at a breakup is consoled then seduced by flippant Tom Hardy; 4) Adrian Lester and Catherine Tate are in the final paper stages of divorce, trying to overcome their feelings for their frolicking little daughter; 5) Ewan McGregor and Douglas Hodge are a gay couple contemplating adoption despite McGregor's character's wandering eye; 6) Hugh Bonneville and Catherine Tate banter the fragility of a first date over lunch and wine and distrust; and Polly Walker 'sells' her time and attentions to willing buyer Mark Strong.
The phrase on the cover of the very well made DVD states it well: 'Sex and love. Some seek it, some need it, some spurn it and some pay for it, but we're all involved in it'. In addition to the pleasure of watching these superb actors ply their trade in these small vignettes the cinematography, editing, and musical score underline the spontaneous feeling of Ditta and Blum's concept. It is a pure joy to watch - even the informative dialog in the added features that accompany this delightful DVD. Grady Harp
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