6.4/10
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Shortbus (2006)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 20 October 2006 (USA)
Trailer
3:04 | Trailer
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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Popularity
3,925 ( 113)
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Dawson ... James
Lindsay Beamish ... Severin
Adam Hardman Adam Hardman ... Jesse, the John
Sook-Yin Lee ... Sofia
Raphael Barker ... Rob
Peter Stickles ... Caleb, the Stalker
PJ DeBoy PJ DeBoy ... Jamie
David Pittu ... Jacuzzi Hunter
Jeff Whitty ... Jacuzzi Hunted
Mickey Cottrell ... Dead Man in the Jacuzzi
Mary Beth Peil ... Ann (Our Lady of the Gutter)
Shanti Carson Shanti Carson ... Leah, the Beautiful Couple
Jan Hilmer Jan Hilmer ... Nick, the Beautiful Couple
Mx Justin Vivian Bond ... Justin Bond
Bradford Scobie Bradford Scobie ... Dr. Donut
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Open Your Mind. And Everything Else. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

(at around 22 mins) 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 »

Quotes

[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?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

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

Soundtracks

It's Not Safe
Performed by Reg Vermue (as Gentleman Reg)
Written by Reg Vermue (as Reginald Gordon Vermue)
Published by Reginald Vermue (SOCAN)
Courtesy of Three Gut Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
American Avant-garde
29 March 2007 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Director John Cameron Mitchell dares to take a retro-clinging America into the twenty-first century with this brave, humanistic art-house film wherein an ensemble cast of little known actors and numerous non-actors portray characters exploring emotions and relationships in a New York City underground club called the Shortbus.

As a gay couple with relationship problems, James (Paul Dawson) and Jamie (P.J. DeBoy), consult a young sex therapist named Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee) who, as it turns out, is in need of some therapy herself. The film's weak plot steers them to the Shortbus, wherein sex and open relationships trump everything else in life, as if people obsess about sex every minute of every day. The film's sex scenes are explicit and graphic, but never exploitative.

Most of the characters are to varying degrees pleasantly unique. I especially liked Justin Bond, the club's tour guide. The film's costumes and production design are terrific. Artwork is mod, as you would expect. And the film's music captures a progressive feel, and varies from nouveau jazz to the stirring humanistic anthem "In The End", performed by the entire cast, and led with flair by Justin Bond.

Unorthodox both in substance and style, in a society that too often demands traditional correctness, "Shortbus" is Mitchell's cinematic plea for cultural compassion and mercy, tolerance and acceptance. It is a cinematic theme that is much needed in America, where hatred and intolerance toward all things nonconforming seriously risk diversity of thought and behavior. At the very least, the film is a welcome change from your mainstream Hollywood assembly-line cinematic trash. I suspect, however, that "Shortbus" really is the wave of the future, particularly in forward-looking societies. More power to it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sex Film Project See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$107,907, 8 October 2006

Gross USA:

$1,985,292

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,526,675
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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