Sex and Death 101 (2007) Poster

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Kind of intriguing, but too much of everything
Superunknovvn4 February 2008
"Sex and Death 101" tries to be so many things at the same: a romantic flick, a dark comedy, a mystery-drama and a highly philosophical movie in the vein of "Matrix" (even including a white room where existential questions are discussed). Well, as I've said in the headline, the movie definitely does have its intriguing moments and there are quite a few meaningful lines in the script.

However, "Sex and Death 101" is too volatile to really be successful in any of the genres it touches. The story takes a thousand twists and turns. It's too cynical to be romantic, too shallow to be profound and too erratic to blow your mind. Characters are introduced and forgotten about in 10 minute-intervals and all of the main characters' friends just kind of disappear at the end, when Winona Ryder's character finally comes into the picture. Make no mistake, Ryder doesn't play a huge role in the whole movie. Her character seems awfully constructed and forced into the script. When the whole story is finally resolved it doesn't really make sense and leaves you totally uncertain of what the hell it was you just saw.

"Sex and Death 101" isn't the worst movie you could rent, but it's certainly pretty strange. I don't even know whom to recommend this to. Fans of Winona Ryder will not be happy with the little amount of screen time she gets. Friends of romcoms will find fault with both, the amount of rom and of com in this. To enjoy "Sex and Death 101" you probably just have to accept the fact that you don't know what you're gonna get. And, hey, that's kind of what the movie is about, too, I guess.
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A dark, clever comedy.
kingsted7 April 2008
It's another example of the critics not 'getting it'. This is a terrific movie, non-conventional, quirky, clever and funny. Go see it and enjoy yourselves. Be prepared to have fun, but's not for the faint of heart.

Simon Baker (The Devil Wears Prada) is wonderful. He will be a big star. Winona Ryder is a surprise. She is back. It seemed as if her career was on hold, but she's great in this film.

The language is unabashedly strong, the situations ditto, but the underlying message of the film is intelligent and 'right on'.

Go see this movie.
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Dark RomCom 101. Nailed it!
TheMovieCritique14 January 2008
In a world where good ol' fantasy movie making has just three letters attached to it (you guessed it: "SFX" - a la everything from majestic Lord of the Rings to cheesy Godzilla - jeez, even the romantic ventures like City of Angels couldn't do away with the bag of tricks), comes a different kind of fantasy-based movie. It's different - I'll tell ya that.

So what does this movie bring to us? The (blatantly visible) low budget. A cast almost riddled with relatively unknown (but promising) actors. A suite of devilishly hot women in stand-in (well, mostly "lie-down") roles. And, needless to say, a premise that is the part of every hot blooded human male's wet dreams. Are you with me yet? I promise, I'm not talking about the the 70s campy soft porn movie that you saw recently.

What would happen if a strapping young man (Simon Baker) got a magical e-mail one fine day listing all the women he had slept with and was going to ever sleep with in future? And, what if that lucky SOB actually had 101 names listed on that list? "Sex & Death 101" tries to answer. And, for most part, gets it right.

Someone once said: "Control your fate or somebody else will". And so goes the story of the young man who allows the piece of printed email to take control over his actions - which in this case means... well, he notches another one over his already very full belt. Somewhere between the disbelief over the email (despite the reassurances of the geek squad who manage the wondrous machine that sent out the hoopla causing email) and disbelief over his good fortune, our hero undergoes those human emotions that we all know very well: Guilt, Angst, Desperation. The intermix of his friends' advice and bickering adds an element of realism even in an escapist fantasy like this.

Winona Ryder plays the "death knell" sounding temptress who has been seducing perverted men to coma ridden sleep to, you know, get back at the evil men who have inflicted untold suffering on women. And you just know that Poison Ivy's parallel track story has to intersect with the story of our list-holding loverboy at some point. And it does. Therein is that taste of "stretching at the thread" that the viewer is left with. The setup seems a little bit forced. But hey, it's supposed to be escapist dark funny romcom - so what the hell, right?

The movie's premise ain't real, but the events and reactions are. Which is that unique mix of traits that makes this movie a little more than the regular spiel that Hollywood throws at us. It's definitely a good watch. And not to miss the allegoric play on the number in the title. It takes 101 women to teach the protagonist the basic meaning of sex - and death. Clever, no?
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Different is good!
sohrabi7025 November 2007
I just saw this film at a preview. I have to say I normally don't like romantic comedies, so I didn't have any big expectations for this.

The film is about Rodrick who receives an e-mail with all the names of girls he have had sex with, and those he will have sex with within a year. The problem is, he at that time was meant to get married in not so long, but "the list" doesn't end with his wife-2-be's name. Actually: there are 72 more to come!

I won't say the movie is free of clishè, but compared to what were used to with these kind of films- it certainly is a good breath of fresh air. The plot is funny, the characters are interesting, the actors did a good job, and well the movie was good as well. Also Winona Ryder is as beautiful as ever! Watch it, but with reasonable expectations.

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Very funny, and surprisingly moving, twist of the romcom genre
terryk-26 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
With Sex and Death 101, Daniel Waters does for the romantic comedy genre what he did for the teen genre in Heathers. A convention twisting and near-reinvention. The film starts with a very high-concept idea, which could have easily been used as the basis for the next Adam Sandler production at the studios. Not that there's anything wrong with that...actually, if it's Sandler we're talking about, there's always plenty wrong. So let's say Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson instead. Waters starts off the film with a fairly traditional set-up of his concept, but then quickly takes it off on a variety of unexpected paths. The roads less traveled. You might anticipate and I guess this qualifies for a SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!! that the Simon Baker character falls in love with one of the ladies on his list midway through, but what happens to that true love is off-the-charts unpredictable. There are lots of similar expectation-defying moments throughout, and they're often laugh-out-loud funny.

The choice to cast Simon Baker, rather than the popular comedian of the week, was also a wise one. Baker certainly has comedic chops, but he feels considerably straighter and is more of a dramatic actor in the part than, say, Owen Wilson. Although Baker hardly looks like every man, he does add an everyman quality to the performance which grounds it and makes Baker more of a straight man to the insanity happening around him.

I've read a few reviews which criticize the film for mixing a number of tones and genre elements. It generally annoys me when critics take this easy, lazy route to slag a film, particularly one as daring as this. In this case, any mixing is clearly a stylistic/storytelling choice and not a mistake. If you want things to play out exactly as you're comfortable and familiar with in every film, just watch your favorite DVD's over and over.

My prediction is that the film will have a decent theatrical run and be HUGE in the ancillary markets. Expect this to run on cable until your hair turns gray, Office Space-style. But get out to theaters and see it if you can there. A film like this will play best with a large audience.
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A Lady Called Death
reality_bites7027 July 2008
Conceptually, the film actually doesn't hit its point until the final twenty minutes in which Baker finally confronts Ryder and accepts his fate. The final coffee shop scene and discussion conjures memories of Daniel Waters' impeccable dialogue and pace ever-present in 1989's "Heathers". Yes, this isn't "Heathers" and thankfully, it isn't "Hudson Hawk" either, however, "Sex & Death 101", unlike both of the aforementioned films, doesn't stay with you, for better or worse. Again, the final scenes are well worth the wait and highlight exactly why Winona Ryder is everybody's favourite outsider. Her ability to present warped innocence and make it seem endearing is wonderful to watch. The moment that we see Death Nell writing in her journal (a throwback to Veronica Sawyer in Heathers) really emphasises this...Ryder's representation of the madness of youth and sex and sadness, all connected in one bizarre character. So, as a film, "Sex & Death 101" isn't great, but as an example of good screen writing and character development (in the case of Death Nell), it is interesting to experience.
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offbeat romantic comedy wins you over
Buddy-5119 July 2009
"Sex and Death 101" is a dark and savvy little romantic comedy that gleefully dances away from many of the stale and stuffy conventions generally associated with the genre.

Simon Baker stars as the allegorically named Roderick Blank, a handsome, seemingly insatiable lady killer who's decided it's finally time to put an end to his womanizing ways in favor of marriage to the beautiful Fiona Wormwood. Yet, literally on the eve of his bachelor party, Rod receives a mysterious email listing in chronological order not only all the women he's already slept with throughout the course of his life but all the women he is destined to sleep with in the time that still remains to him (the total is 101, if you haven't already surmised that from the film's title). Adhering to the adage "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak," Rod allows the list to essentially take over his life, waiting for the next promised woman to fall into his lap (sometimes quite literally), then crossing her name off the moment he's had his way with her. But is this truly the route to a satisfying life, even for a notorious playboy like Roderick Blank?

Part science fiction and part metaphysical morality play, "Sex and Death 101" also boasts two wacky subplots that run contrapuntal to the main story: one featuring Winona Ryder as an avenging feminist who comes in the guise of a serial killer, luring unsuspecting misogynists to their well-deserved destruction; and the other involving three mysterious figures (mad scientists, intervening angels?) who kidnap Rod to inform him that he has been the victim of some bizarre cosmic prank and that he needs to destroy the list before it destroys him.

"Sex and Death 101" is not a perfect film by any means. Its attempts at surrealism are frequently heavy-handed and strained, and its black-comedy edge isn't always as razor-sharp as it could be. But, on the whole, this is a wildly original and surprisingly incisive look at the different ways in which men and women view sex and romance and the different ways they use both those things to get what they want. Writer/director Daniel Waters knows how to set even the most hackneyed romantic comedy cliché spinning on its head. For instance, the movie takes the obligatory "gay best friend" stereotype - who usually comes in the form of a flaming interior decorator or wedding planner - and turns it into a wise-cracking lesbian (smartly played by Mindy Cohn, best known as Natalie from "The Facts of Life"), whose duties as Rod's personal secretary go far beyond merely scheduling his appointments or knowing where his briefcase is.

Although Rod is, in many ways, a typical character for a romantic comedy - afraid of commitment, obsessed with nailing every woman who comes his way, etc. - the route the script takes to get him to his admittedly rather predictable pro-woman/pro-romance epiphany is anything but typical. This freshness is further enhanced by the devilishly playful and utterly disarming performance turned in by Baker who completely captivates the viewer with his easygoing charisma and charm. The scene in which Baker and Ryder finally share screen time together is exceptionally well acted and staged.

Even though the movie feels a little disjointed and unfocused at times, Waters does a nice job dovetailing all the seemingly unrelated plot elements into a satisfying whole in the end. "Sex and Death 101" is for those who like a little spice with their romantic comedies.
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Aims, fires and severely misses
meremaiden-13 December 2007
Although this film seems like a b-movie or even verging on soft-core porn (if there was actual sex in the film, it would be a soft core porn mainly due to the lighting and obvious low budget) Sex and Death has a few redeeming qualities. There are moments of insightful "sex isn't what is important in life" expressions, that however verge on forcing the viewer to relate to the main character Roderick Blank. It has a sweet unpretentiousness to it, that is refreshing amidst the mega-bucks Hollywood romantic comedies with predictable stories, but still feels like it should go straight to video and not bother with the theaters.

An interesting premise, with a plot twist that feels very predictable but ends in a surprising way, its still not enough for me to recommend it to anyone, as the film doesn't leave with you anything —- no glowing feelings, no revelations, not even a basic contentment after watching a horror, thriller or romantic comedy. Instead the film is bland, with no character development and no explanation as to any character motivations. Why did Winona Ryder's character choose to act the way she did (explained but not at all believable)-- what about the motivations of every other character in the film? What is Roderick's motivation? Pure boredom? Although explained by the script, there is no emotion from the actors, no expression of anything remotely connected to feeling, to depth. Nothing is really clear, its all hinted at, and the viewer is left feeling uninspired and unconnected from the characters and the story. The lead actors still did their best with it,(the ensemble was horrid though) and though this is Ryder's worst character ever, perhaps it was all a fault of the writing, who is to say? This film is like a tantalizing sandwich in the shop window. It looks beautiful at the start as it has good ingredients (seasoned actors) and has a unique and interesting recipe (premise) yet when you take a bite, there' s no meat, no filling, no flavour. The viewer is left with an empty mouth, empty head and a lighter wallet.
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Some dreams are too true to be good.
lastliberal1 January 2009
I am probably not the first to say it, but the choice of Simon Baker for this romantic comedy was brilliant. Left in the hands of someone who is more familiar in rom coms would leave his movie tasting like the typical breast and fart jokes that so many popular comedies are today.

Sure, he is shallow. After having sex with 29 women, he finds that he is to reach 101 before dies. Knowing who number 101 was caused him some concern, but fortunately he found out when he had 20 to go before her. No sex and he had 20 human shield to keep number 101 away. How is that working out?

There are some really funny moments (Patton Oswalt is a riot!), some tender moments, some interesting moments (Bambi and Thumper, Granny C), and 100 moments of romantic comedy.

Winona Ryder was amazing.

You have to see this one.
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Do we really need another movie like this?
jeremyoboe16 January 2008
So I was given the opportunity to watch this movie. Judging by the name, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but figured I'd give it a go. Boy, what a waste of time.

The main character is Roderick Blank (Simon Baker), a successful metrosexual pretty boy who is getting married in a little over a week. He, fortunately or unfortunately, receives an email from "someone" (more on this later) who tells him all the people he'll ever have sex with in his life... All 101 of them. The only problem is that he's had sex with only 29 people and if he's getting married, how is he supposed to have sex with the other 72? Well... he realizes he's really not ready to get married and he starts having sex with lots of people... Sound familiar? Good Luck Chuck comes to mind. This seems to be a popular topic for movies today.

So, back to the details. That "someone" who sent the email isn't ever fully explained. Apparently it's a machine, but no one knows what it really is, who created it or if it really exists. There apparently are three men who carry out the machine's will but it isn't really clear who or what they are either. This was a severe flaw in the plot if you ask me. In order to understand the movie I couldn't think about the machine for too long.

Anyway, it's funny that Winona Ryder is listed as a main character as for the majority of the movie she really doesn't have a large role and only for the last 10 minutes of the movie does she actually engage in dialogue that seems to be related with the plot. Wait... what plot? Yes, this movie barely has a plot beyond the fascination of seeing a guy having lots of sex. The ending of the movie attempts to add some depth to the story line, but unfortunately it fails at such. The writer(s) basically failed at every aspect of this movie in creating a meaningful story. I guess that's not the point of the movie anyway. This movie is fluff and isn't even very successful at being such.
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Pathetic save yourself DO NOT WATCH!
artisticmonster28 March 2012
This is by far one of the worst movies I have ever watched. I implore you to spare yourself the agony of 100 minutes of a contrived plot.

The dialogue was painfully childish, the characters were insufferable, intolerable, and outright cartoon-ish. To boil the male perspective down to nothing but sex/sexual encounters hardly makes for a gripping plot.

I can't think of a single redeeming quality as to why anyone would watch this piece of tripe!

The funniest part about this film was when my boyfriend turned to me and said, "This must have been when Winona Ryder stole something and was desperate for work."
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Review: Sex and Death 101
bloodymonday10 October 2008
Do you remember Daniel Waters? He's the guy who wrote Heathers, the greatest (if extremely unpleasant) teen-oriented movie of all time (Yeah, you can quote me; I'm THAT confident haha+). But then he squandered his talent and reputation by writing abysmal films like Hudson Hawk, Demolition Man and even Batman Returns (yeah, that one too). Now he's back with a new film in six years which he wrote and directed.

Just before he's to marry Fiona, Roderick Blank (Simon Baker) receives an anonymous e-mail with 101 names on it; Fiona's is the 29th, the first 28 are women Rod has slept with. The notion that he will have sex with 70 more people sends Rod into crisis mode, especially after three odd men in an aseptic office confirm that a celestial machine has made an error. They suggest destroying the list, but Rod finds that easier said than done. Working his way through it consumes him, plus he realizes that death may await him after #101. Meanwhile, a femme fatal nicknamed Death Nell (Winona Ryder) is putting men into a coma. Are they fated to meet? (Thanks again, IMDb)

I'll have to admit, this is quite interesting premise. And the good thing is, it hasn't gone wasted, since the person behind this film is definitely having a right mind to do it right. It is clever film about crisis of men and their quest to search for sexual fulfillment. Because once you hooked (to sex), even there's a hell right in front of you, you might not hesitate to dive into it. It raised a question about when one woman just wasn't enough, how far could you go? It's also about fate, when there's something that doesn't belong to you, it's just doesn't belong to you. And if you're persistent to have it, then you will lose it forever.

OK, let me stop you right here, before you storm out to buy this DVD. It's just too bad that they did it right doesn't mean that they did it good. Because Sex and Death 101 is the movie that put too much ambition for its own good. In my opinion, Daniel Waters was thinking way too much on this project. It supposed to be good dirty and fun little movie that eventually might create cult following. But what I saw is just such a promising project engulfed by director's self-absorbed vision. It's doesn't sync with audience like his Heathers script, which is like a wake up call for all generation-x who consumed by popularity. In the mean time, Sex and Death 101 was also talking about important subject alright, but it can only be able to educate people about sexuality. It's just can't relate to audience (especially target group like generation-x who probably got older by now).

And when director's vision has gone wrong, everything in this film also has the same destiny. Simon Baker's narration didn't really mean anything, and then it got worse when the story went on to unexpected turn. Also, the story about god-like operation room is pretty unnecessary. Come to think about it, I saw a similarity between this film and Danny Boyle's Life Less Ordinary (because it has something to do with an act of god too!). Although LLO is a flawed film, but it is an entertaining movie where you can almost feel filmmaker's burning passion on the project. But Sex and Death 101 is just cold as ice project where you could feel a touch of isolation miles away.

But it has some redemption moments, especially when the comedy was kicked in. I think I laughed out loud a couple of times (so rare these days -,.-'). There were the scene where Roderick ALMOST sleep with Sophie Monks, and the scene where he vs. catholic girls on school bus (even it's so absurd, but it's just damn hilarious). And also a fine performance by Simon Baker, even if he's not particularly A-list star, but he's charming enough to make me bought him as a striking handsome ladies man (he got to sleep with 101 women, alright?). On the other hands, Winona Ryder is simply dreadful. She supposed to be disturbing femme fetal, but she act like she's on crack or something. Comes to think of it, it's almost ten years since her last good role in Girl, Interrupted, I wish she will comeback real soon.

Sex and Death 101 may have some sharp idea and hysterical black humor moment, but it tried too hard to be something important (and then chicken out in one of the most whimsy ending I have ever seen). I kind of admire the director's attempt to reach out for his royal fans and tried to reignite his good old days with familiar subject. But, sorry Mr. Waters, this wasn't the one yet.
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If I could find 101 reasons for not watching this movie...
jpschapira18 February 2008
Continuing with the thought that sometimes movies may honor its title, and that may save them from being bad or make them even more terrible than they are, I present to you the latter of the examples. Like "Boys", where Winona Ryder also plays a part, "Sex and Death 101" makes true justice to its title. The thing is that with a title like "Boys" there are interesting things to be said, but "Sex and Death 101"…That's all there is: sex and death.

If I want those things, I can easily find them in a lame erotic film. For those who think that sex can be justified in a film and so on, I tell you that I agree; but there's nothing justifiable about the use of sex or even death in this film. "Sex and Death 101" tells the story of Roderick Blank (Simon Baker), an entrepreneur who's about getting married and receives an email with a list of every women he's had sex with and will have sex with. Any guesses? Right! They're 101 women.

From that moment on, and I'm sorry if I spoil the ride for you (but all of this and more is in the unappealing trailer, if you've watched it), Roderick leaves his soon to be wife in a ridiculous scene and starts doing what probably any man would do; except that he does it in every scene and the only scenes that are not about it are about their friends (a fat, lesbian secretary and a bunch of married guys) trying to stop him with whatever excuse they find.

At one point, writer/director Daniel Waters (I hope he has nothing to do with Mark) runs out of these excuses and the need for a closure takes his film to the utter bottom. But that's not everything Waters' made of as a writer. There's a woman called Miranda (the charming Leslie Bibb) who's apparently on the list but touches Roderick's heart; which leads Waters to create a joke that consists on everyone asking: "Have you f***ed her yet?". Another thing that's supposed to be funny is when his secretary makes Roderick check if her name is on the list.

Oh, and there's "The Machine"! How could I forget such original invention and the origin of Roderick's problems? It's an empty space with a strong white background, and it has a crack in the wall. From that crack, it spits cards that apparently know anything anyone would like to know. The guy who controls the Machine, a possible Morpheus without glasses, says it may be an oracle but he's not sure.

If you thought I had forgotten that the Great Winona Ryder plays a part, I hadn't. How could I when she's second-billed and she's not even a supporting character but a mere excuse to finalize the movie? She appears in only one scene, and gives (as convincingly as she can; it's not her fault that the script is so poor) a speech that pretends to justify the time we've wasted and fails.

And Simon Baker can do better. Better than a simple smile and a cocky narration. A narration that pretends to know everything about sidestepping clichés but in the end narrates us the most convenient ending. I hate that.
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101 List, Too Many Ingredients Don't Always Make A Tasty Dish
Chrysanthepop20 February 2011
'Sex and Death 101' tries to be too many things. Looks like creator Daniel Waters couldn't make up his mind on what he wanted this to be. It tries to be philosophical but lacks depth. It tries to be a romantic comedy but lacks heart. It tries to be a black comedy but lacks wit. It tries to be mysterious but there are too many twists with no layer. It bounces from one genre to another without even taking the time to settle on anything. Perhaps, 'Sex and Death 101' may have looked better on paper which maybe why actors like Simon Baker, Winona Ryder and Julie Bowen agreed to be in it. Baker does a good job as he suits his role. Bowen does an adequate job. Ryder doesn't have much screen time as one might assume but she's alright. Leslie Bibb is brilliant as an aspiring writer whom Roderick falls for. Mindy Cohn is a scene stealer as Roderick's lesbian secretary and friend.

'Sex and Death 101' does have a few funny sequences that made me chuckle but other than that it's pretty much a halfbaked dish with parts of various ingredients, none of which have been adequately used.
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Not marvelous, but not so bad
emdoub12 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A simple, light comedy that takes a skewed view of the war between the sexes - probably more topical in the 1970s than today.

There are some absurd plot holes - the "Machine" that sends prophetic emails, the three characters who work for the machine (Alpha, Beta, and Fred), who take months to track down a serial killer - yeah, plot holes in the SF/mystical end of things - but that wasn't really the movie's focus. Mayhaps the writer/director would have done better to have Whoopie Goldberg reprise her role as Guinan, and left the source of the email as a mystery that we're just not going to look too closely at.

The anti-male bias in the examination of the war between the sexes gets a tad old - we've all seen enough of the "rutting males are jerks, women are the blameless victims" routine.

There are some bits that just aren't funny - pretty much anything said by the aforementioned Fred, for example, and the lecture they get from the stripper's bodyguard at the bachelor party.

There are some good bits, though - and some cogent (if one-sided) looks at the differences between male and female mating expectations. There is a fair bit of gratuitous nudity - but I don't see that as a downside, and it does fit in with the theme of the movie.

Not, by any means, a great movie - but I disagree with the reviewers who claim that this was miscast, or that the acting failed. Not a keeper, but there are far worse comedies for you to take home from the rental shop.
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Somehow it kind of works
hall89513 June 2009
This movie makes very little sense. The whole thing is exceedingly bizarre. But somehow the movie kind of works. Simon Baker turns in a fine performance in the leading man role and it his charm which more than anything else enables the movie to be considered at least a mild success.

Baker plays successful executive Roderick Blank who is about to be married. And then something strange happens. He receives an anonymous e-mail which lists, in chronological order, the names of every woman he has ever slept with. Bizarre to be sure but not a crisis as long as his wife to be is the last name on the list. She's not. She's number 29. There are 101 names on the list. Roderick initially shrugs it off as some kind of practical joke being perpetrated by his friends. Then again how would his friends know the names, in order, of every woman he's ever slept with? When Roderick accidentally (yes, accidentally) has sex with woman number 30 on the list he realizes there's something going on here. Looks like that wedding's not going to happen after all. Apparently there's a higher power at work. What is that higher power you ask? Well you see there's this computer which apparently knows everything. And it occasionally spits out random pointless lists of women that men will sleep with for example. This is all explained by the three men who work with the computer in a mysterious, futuristic-looking office. These men are named Alpha, Beta and Fred. Told you this movie was bizarre.

Anyhow it's pretty apparent where the sex in the movie's title comes from. Yes a multitude of women come and go as Roderick crosses off names on his list. But what about the death part? Well that's where Winona Ryder comes in. She plays Death Nell, a shadowy figure lurking mostly in the background of the movie, who goes around seducing men and then putting them into comas. But only men who deserve it you see, sexual deviants of some kind. Death Nell becomes a feminist hero, Roderick goes on sleeping with all these different women and hey, do you think perhaps these two characters might be destined to meet? Well I certainly hope so or else this whole thing is going to be rather pointless.

For a supposed comedy this movie isn't particularly funny. No real belly laughs to be had here, maybe a mild chuckle or two. It seems that Patton Oswalt, in playing Fred, is set up to be the designated funny guy but he's really not that funny at all. There are a few good moments here and there but there are a lot of times where the movie drags and there's nothing funny or even interesting going on. The plot perks up a bit when after sleeping with all these random women Roderick actually ends up in a quasi-serious relationship with a doctor played by Leslie Bibb. But that relationship comes with complications. And we know that this woman is not the last woman on the list so inevitably it's back to the parade of women in Roderick's life. There are times where it seems the movie is close to falling apart completely but Baker, who really has to carry things pretty much by himself, manages to hold it together and in the end it's a relatively enjoyable movie. Baker is excellent, Ryder does OK with minimal screen time and there's also room for another somewhat familiar face as playing Roderick's lesbian secretary Trixie is Mindy Cohn. Yes that would be Natalie of Facts of Life fame. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...a reasonably decent movie. That's Sex and Death 101.
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Sexy, Funny.....far from deadly....
martylee13045burlsink34225 February 2009
A quirky little study of the modern mating game which might have been unwatchable if it hadn't been graced with a sly and insightful wit...and the presence of an ideal leading man. Simon Pegg hasn't generated the big career building buzz that has elevated so many other actors from down under....his performance here is charming and polished enough to make one wonder why (somebody wrangle this guy a blockbuster!).

The lead role in this inspired concoction would be a mine field for an actor without genuine charisma, magnetism, and sensitivity. Many lucky enough to possess the stunning looks which the part calls for would have been content to strut and smirk through the film. Pegg seems to dig deeper...and the grace and genuine warmth that shine from behind his beautiful facade bring to mind the class of another gorgeous actor who was never content to hide behind his pretty face...the great Cary Grant.

The deft script also stirs up memories of droll "golden era" comedies that managed to bring in a bit of magic and mystery to spice up what could have been rather crass and ordinary plot lines. A story about a golden boy Lothario who's life is turned upside down by a mysterious e-mail concerning his future love-life could very easily have been lame, tired, and dim...(like so many Hollywood comedies seem to be nowadays). It was a joy to find that the ending has the same sly and unexpectedly insightful sheen as the opening scenes.

It is also wonderful to see the delicious Winona Ryder finally getting another role that comes close to deserving her decadently desirable charms. This mix of danger and dreamy dark eyed dramatics fits her to perfection...and how she does shine!
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Pretty pointless
richard_sleboe11 August 2008
For a movie about sex, "Death and Sex" has very few sexy scenes. OK, I admit that the entry and exit (and the jealous, half-naked pillow fight in between) of power lesbians Bambi (Natassia Malthe) and Thumper (Pollyanna McIntosh) are exceptions, and worthy ones too. The near-necrophiliac scene at the morgue, on the other hand, is totally gruesome even by my distorted standards of decorum. Winona Ryder, notoriously coy and sweet, predictably doesn't work in the part of Death Nell, a murderous vamp. Having said that, the quiet showdown at a late-night diner (the "Quality Café", to be precise) somewhat reconciled me with an otherwise pretty pointless movie. But what sent me over the edge is an interview (included on the DVD) with Leslie Bibb, in which she tries to sell this piece of pubescent machismo as a cunning feminist endeavor. Hilarious.
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WOW, what just happened here ?
keiran-mclaren7 February 2015
I have to start by saying who gives people the money to make this garbage.

What I thought was an interesting plot line with the mystery of a secret list of women that you have slept with and will sleep with until you die might have some potential. At the same time in another universe there is a Man Killer about killer man after sex named "Death Nell".

Nothing more to give away but for a movie with some class actor it fell short of being a good movie. It's corny a little nudity, sex with a leper, and sex with lesbians. Sounds good right ??? WRONG.

Please Simon Baker, stay on TV until a decent script comes up. I wouldn't watch it unless there is nothing better outside like a hurricane.
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Puked in my mouth
geohv-6779619 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
At 54 I sadly found a movie that actually made me puke in my mouth. What a warped sense of humour, he becomes good friends with a woman, she only wants friends but he wants more, she has a accident and dies, at the morgue he actually thinks of having sex with her corpse. So disgusting!
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a really bad film
marinostattaris17 April 2008
This film listed Winona Ryder as a main characterand by the middle of the movie she yet had to appear. You see I never made it that far to the movie to see if she really had a role. Thats how bad this film was. It has an absolute silly plot and consequently bad acting and direction. I am really wonderihg how come it gets a rating of 6 or more here on IMDb? is one of the worst movies i ever saw. An absolute waste of money and time. Thank god i ve only spent the money on renting the DVD. i haven't seen it on the cinema. Did i yet finished my 10 lines, i cant really write more than that about this stupid film. Well obviously not, i still have to write more. I hated this film. Hated this film! Indeed hated this film.
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would be a great comedy with another cast....
dominik9621 February 2008
The basic idea does work for a nice comedy, and the script author must be very disappointed what the producer had made out of it. Problem is that the director and the writer are the same person: Daniel Waters. So one essential thing learned from this movies is, that Daniel Waters should only write, and never again be the director.

I won't tell the story, because reading it there wouldn't be much left for watching. If you want an average movie to spend 100 minutes, then you can watch it. If you expect a great comedy and a nice time in the cinema, then this movie is wrong for you. Escpecially because it has the appearance of a movie made only for video release but not for cinema.

The overall problem is the cast.

Simon Baker is good for romance movies and attorneys, but not for a comedy like this. Actors like Adam Sandler and Steve Zahn would be the right man for Roderick Blank. Simon Baker lacks the comedic element in his acting.

The secretary of Roderick Blank is also a prime playing role for a comedian, but the female actor here lacks also the comedic quality.

Patton Oswalt is the only actor in this movie with this quality.

Overall the movie is too slow. Even the music used in this movie is just wrong for a comedy.
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One of the worst of all time
tkazz-118 April 2009
A black comedy that commits the cardinal sin. It isn't even mildly humorous. The plot is preposterous. Winona Ryder has come down to this??? If it's a choice of watching this "film" or getting open heart surgery, select the latter. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I happen to like Simon Baker a lot, but his considerable charm is stretched to the limit. I guess I am masochistic and I wanted to force myself to stick around until the (very) bitter end, but at the 75 minute mark I just couldn't take much more and I ripped through the balance at 2x and 4x speed. I slowed down to standard speed for the big finish which is so stupid, I wanted to take out the DVD and fry it in the microwave. If I didn't get my point across, this picture is partially rotten with scattered patches of terribleness.
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Come see Winona Ryder's nose ridges
MBunge16 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
When you're making a movie and the best thing about it is "The Facts of Life" Mindy Cohn's performance as a lesbian secretary, you've got problems.

Sex and Death 101 is a movie that tries to tell one-and-a-quarter stories. One full story is about Roderick Blank (Simon Baker), a guy who's all ready to settle down and get married when he gets a list in his e-mail. The list is the names of all the people he's ever going to have sex with but while there are 101 names on the list, Roderick has only had sex with 29 women so far. So over the next year, Roderick uses the list as a guide to boink his way through the other 72 names. The quarter of a story concerns Death Nell (Winona Rider), a woman who's taking men that have been abusive or disrespectful of woman and putting them into comas. I say it's a quarter of a story, because even though you know Roderick and Death Nell will be getting together, her role is barely more than a glorified cameo.

Firstly, this film is a great example that you shouldn't make a whimsical romantic comedy with a writer/director who not only doesn't understand women, he doesn't even understand men. There's a scene where Roderick and his two guy friends are talking and watching a football game. There's a big play, the guys jump up to celebrate, then fall into a pile on the floor where they lay next to each other and talk for about a minute. Guys don't lie next to each other on the floor and have conversations. Young girls may do that. Straight men do not. I don't even think gay guys do that, and that's the level of understanding Daniel Waters brings to the story.

That lack of wisdom doesn't completely cripple the film, because understanding human behavior isn't necessary if none of your characters are real human beings in any sense of the word. The characters in Sex and Death 101 are clever, colorful and occasionally funny, but there's not a single moment when you actually feel anything for any of them. The movie deals with the implications of knowing which women absolutely will and which absolutely won't have sex with you in a detached fashion, but then forces poor Simon Baker to ridiculously overact when the story suddenly dictates that Roderick have an emotional crisis by falling in love with a girl who's not on the list.

There is some decent female nudity in the film, but not from any of the big name actresses (not even Mindy Cohn) and it's all in the first half, before the story gets all wrapped up in the mysterious entity that sent the list to Roderick and how his story is intersecting with Death Nell's. And maybe I've never noticed it before, but there's something seriously off about Winona Rider's nose in this movie. There are these very odd double ridges on the bridge of her nose that I don't recall ever being that distinct before.

Fundamentally, the trouble with Sex and Death 101 is that it lacks balls, and I don't mean male nudity. The subjects of predestination, exploitation and manipulation it deals with are fairly dark…but the movie always keeps them at arm's length. It's too delicate to mine the laughs out of the raw pain of Roderick's predicaments, so the humor never rises above the sitcom level, with the jokes telegraphed so clearly that you can see them coming during the movie you watch before you watch Sex and Death 101. So, it's not an unfunny movie, but it is one that you laugh at almost as much as you laugh with.
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Entertaining and full of laughs but not one to watch with your parents!!
barbecuedbanana22 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
There is a lot of swearing and there are a lot of sex scenes. So I wouldn't want to watch this with my teenage kids or my parents. However the swearing is in tune with the film and so is the sex so it isn't out of place at all.

I enjoyed this film. I didn't see any plot holes - just unexplained moments - but then what in real life is totally explainable? Every day we live with technology and social systems and people who we cannot explain - so why should a film not be allowed a little of this uncertainty? As long as the entirety of the film makes sense - and this one really does.

The acting was believable and the characters likable. I usually dislike the male leads who flit from one woman to the next, but this lead character was very sympathetic.

I felt so sorry for him as he realised he simply could not escape his fate. There were some very funny surprises along the way as well.

Poor man!! Winona Ryder turns up throughout the film as a parallel storyline as a mysterious killer. She is the dark counter play to the lighter male storyline.

I see this film as a story about how good people can be swallowed up by bad experiences and fate, but that how in the end true optimism and kindness will win out.

It is a lovely film to watch if you want some laughs, and a gentle but interesting and surprising storyline.

Not for prudes though.
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