“I know ten times more about blowjobs than I do about relationships” insists Kate Welles (Famke Janssen) in the opening moments of “Love and Sex.” Over the course of the next 75 minutes, Kate will experience one gigantic epiphany consisting of numerous smaller realizations and will emerge, hardly to the viewer’s surprise, with a full grasp on the nature of relationships. Yet, dull and predictable as such an inherently mawkish premise might sound, the film is actually an oftentimes cute and humorous piece that should be much easier for couples to cuddle up to than the recently similar “High Fidelity.”
In Kate’s life can be found shades of “American Beauty”s” Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey). She works at a popular woman’s magazine, is decidedly fed up with her job and pens article after article that she recognizes to be phony. Her boss is referred to as “the antichrist” and is preparing to fire Kate over her current piece. The article in question, originally supposed to be a commentary on the pleasures of oral sex, turned into a how-to on performing effective fellatio; Kate refers to it as “a blow by blow” description. However, unlike Lester’s approach of trying to solve his problems at home with each day being a new beginning, Kate decides to do like
“s” protagonist, Rob (John Cusack), and first reconcile her romantic past.
Studio: Lions Gate Films
Release Date: Not Set At Time of Review
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Director: Valerie Breiman
Producers: Martin Barab, et all…
Writter: Valerie Breiman
Stars: Famke Jannsen, Jon Favreau, Noah Emmerich, Cheri Oteri and David Schwimmer
The movie comes fully equipped with bite-size romantic philosophies like “scheduled spontaneity is the key to long term love” and “we [fall in love] for one reason: nothing in the world makes us feel better.” Such one-liners do help the movie work on multiple levels and progress forward although you can oftentimes tell that such hokey comments are the product of a screenwriter who probably worked late nights.
The film seems to have no qualms allowing its characters to engage in some very public displays of affection. Yet, the filmmakers seem inexplicably scared to go “all the way” and instead opt for a very unsettling lack of nudity. Films like this and “An Affair of Love” simply aggravate audiences with continuous sexual lingo yet no genuine sexual content. If a movie’s purpose is to show the true nature of intimate relationships, which “Love and Sex”s” apparently is, then the reality of nudity should be welcomed, not dismissed with such awkward tactics as the infamous “L” shaped covers which reach just over a man’s groin area yet extend over a woman’s breasts.
Fortunately, the film’s lead actress, Famke Jannsen, does have sex appeal. She comes across as a blend of Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock with her only noticeable physical flaw being a slightly too-long forehead. However, most importantly, the young actress seems human and doesn’t yet have the jaded movie-star look that separates sex appeal from sex symbolism among Hollywood’s leading ladies.
At one point in the film, Kate and her primary boyfriend, Adam (Jon Favreau who is a dead ringer for Jeremy Piven) argue over what to rent at a video store. Kate favors a tear jerking foreign film while Adam endorses a movie about topless ninjas. “Love and Sex” would be the perfect compromise.