JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Let's Talk About Sex (Directors: Laure de Clermont, Eric Kissack, Maria Fredriksson, Lloyd Harvey, Spencer Harvey, Farzad Farzaneh, David Renaud, Basak Buyukcelen) - July 2, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex

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Reviewed at the 2013 Palm Springs International Shortfest
Quick sex in the cinema

Perhaps betraying the region’s demographic makeup, “Let’s Talk About Sex” wasn’t nearly as jammed to capacity as “Partners in Pride,” just two and a half hours earlier. Similar to those presentations (cross-reference below), the actual sex was more alluded to than shown. Tellingly, two of the male/female couplings—happily, inclusively—featured a pair of lusty representatives from the disabled community.

First up of those was Laure de Clermont’s Atlantic Avenue, Four and one-half stars. With a faint echo of an especially telling scene from Paul Morrissey’s Flesh (cross-reference below), a hustler from Brooklyn finds an unexpected admirer after rescuing the seventeen-year-old beauty from a vehicular (wheelchair/SUV) entanglement prior to negotiating a through-the-driver’s-window rate for a drive-by quickie. Despite a predilection for men, the unlikely couple eventually strike their own bargain for a session of full-service carnal bliss. All of which leads to the film’s finest sequence: the literal journey to heavenly delights up the squalid staircase in the trickster’s favourite rooms-by-the-hour haunt. (Sugar also comes close—years earlier—with the portrayal of loving sex for the different amongst us—cross-reference below).

Spencer and Lloyd Harvey’s The Gift, Five stars, went a step further in the depiction of a 16-year-old boy’s purposeful loss of virginity. (Last year’s The Sessions provided a compelling full-feature view of a similar situation, cross-reference below). But the knockout punch here is the incredible wisdom (“Tell her she’s beautiful”) of the soon to be initiated to the pleasures of the flesh by a surrogate sex therapist spilling over to his parents and rekindling a long-lost flame that—for all intents and purposes—had been extinguished for years.

Two comedies are also worth a look. STDs frame the storyline of Erik Kissack’s Blessing in Disguise, Four stars, as apparently having genital herpes spawns a love for the ages. Waking up with a professional crooner in a best friend’s guest room, provides David Renaud with the bare essentials to fashion a series of unexpected developments, making The Morning After, Four and one-half stars, resolutely prove that—given attention to detail and creativity—cookie-cutter situations can be hilariously new again. Kudos to the lounge singer (Steve West) for performing, er, his part wearing just one sock (metaphors everywhere!) and sporting a fedora when the occasion suited—double threat: he can also sing!

Easily the most disturbing film in this group (and the shortest), Basak Buyukcelen’s Take a Deep Breath, Four stars, packs a horrific punch about the ever-present danger of bullying fathers who have decided—without benefit of any evidence—that their daughters’ hymens are no longer intact. During a couple of instances of the brute’s actions, the crowd collectively shuddered while his misguided sense of honour shattered an innocent, beautiful life. Sadly, this brief bit of awful truth is being played out daily—frequently with far deadlier results (cross-reference below).

Farzad Farzaneh’s Love Doesn’t Care, Three and one-half stars, chronicles the disruption of a happy, loving relationship when Fred, a best bud of the curly haired Dag, shows up after a long absence. Once introduced to Dag’s live-in, Rakel, an instant rapport then love at first Heimlich manoeuvre (the bird song contest is, well, a hoot!) blossoms. Somewhat clichéd, the acting is uniformly strong.

And no one will want to miss a morsel of the edible and salacious treats served up in Maria Fredrikkson's Coffee Time, Four and one-half stars. Those who think their sex lives dwindle with age had best listen in to this anything-goes chat of all things sexual amongst a quartet of delightfully randy dowagers. JWR

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