210 user 87 critic

Shortbus (2006)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 20 October 2006 (USA)
3:02 | Trailer

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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.
3,422 ( 284)
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


Voyeurism is Participation See more »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






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


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$107,907, 8 October 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,985,292, 8 February 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,093,860, 15 April 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


To make the actors more comfortable, the director and the cameramen were stripped naked while filming the orgy scene. See more »


(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 »


[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?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Back to the Well: 'Clerks II' (2006) See more »


Winter's Love
Performed by Animal Collective
Written by David Portner and Panda Bear (as Noah Lennox)
Published by Avey beartongs (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Fat Cat Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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