When compared to the usual, more somber festival entries, Davis' highly personal brand of romantic comedy is a tart, smart breath of fresh air that stands out from the pack even if the picture itself is somewhat problematic.
Despite the provocative title, the film fails to reach a satisfying climax.
Given the very specific big-city, Jewish neurotic milieu, it's also not surprising why Davis has been called a female Woody Allen on more than one occasion, though she is a filmmaker with a promising voice of her own, not to mention a West Coast setting.
Exhibiting another common Allen trait, Davis casts herself as lead Amy Mandell, a successful self-help author who, apparently oblivious to the old saying "physician heal thyself," is having a little trouble practicing what she's preaching in the dating department.
Despite informing single female readers that celibacy is the key to self-worth while observing that "love is like an hourglass ... with the heart filling up while the brain empties," she finds herself ready and willing to give it up to one Matthew Starr (Nick Chinlund), a smarmy radio shock jock patterned after guess who.
While they would seem to be an unlikely match, Amy ignores the protests of her long-suffering publicist (Caroline Aaron) and a smitten priest (comic Jeff Cesario) to whom she goes to for confession -- rationalizing that although she's not Catholic, it's cheaper than therapy -- and falls for the Guy Big time.
Therein lies the fundamental problem with "Amy's Orgasm". In any effective romantic comedy, the basic idea is to be able to root for the two central characters to eventually realize they're meant for each other.
Here, however, while more or less adhering to the standard girl-meets-boy/girl-loses-boy/girl-gets-boy format, the boy in question is such a smug jerk (and Chinlund's one-note performance doesn't help) that it's never convincingly explained why this seemingly sensible woman would be swept off her feet for him not once but twice.
It's a shame, because Davis -- who previously wrote and directed "I Love You, Don't Touch Me!" and also wore two hats for her latest romantic comedy, "All Over the Guy", to be released by Lions Gate in the summer -- demonstrates an energetic spark in both capacities.
Despite suffering from a mild case of all-about-me syndrome, the sexually perceptive film remains likable and, at least for the first half, amusing.
While Davis, who makes her feature acting debut here, and Cesario, as the tentative priest, have a nice comic touch, Aaron, an Allen regular, handily steals the show as Amy's brassy, controlling publicist.
Production values are bright and cost-efficient, with cinematographer Mark Mervis and production designer Carol Strober taking full advantage of the sunny Los Angeles backdrop.
Serious Dan Films
Director-screenwriter: Julie Davis
Producers: Julie Davis, Fred Kramer
Executive producers: Scott Mandell, David Straus
Director of photography: Mark Mervis
Production designer: Carol Strober
Editor: Julie Davis
Costume designer: Robert Constant
Music supervisor: Jonathan Weiss
Amy Mandell: Julie Davis
Matthew Starr: Nick Chinlund
Janet: Caroline Aaron
Don: Mitchell Whitfield
Elizabeth: Jennifer Bransford
The Priest: Jeff Cesario
Running time -- 92 minutes
No MPAA rating