Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sex Lies and Videotape |
Actors: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo, Ron Vawter
Director: Steven Soderbergh
With smoldering sensuality and biting humor, the surprising relationship between the three title subjects is revealed in Sex, Lies, and Videotape, the most-talked about erotic comedy of the decade. James Spader (Stargate) ... more »
The best of a type.
John Truslow | Vestal, New York, United States | 03/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is truly a milestone in independent film, but it also updates a familiar theme: The unique, troubled soul is accidentally brought to someone who wants to save him, despite his best efforts to remain in bondage (think of Breakfast at Tiffany's, or Harold and Maude). The story and dialogue are SO tight, the characters so rich, and the images so perfect - it's a wonderful film, though disturbing for those who are unable to be satisfied by the main character's path to redemption. If you happen to remember the description / trailer of the movie, be advised that this is not a comedy, and is not even really about sex. It's about the mental prisons we build for ourselves..."
Sex, lies, and videotape on DVD
Bryant Bell | Baton Rouge, LA United States | 08/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""sex,lies, and videotape" is a well-crafted little gem about adultery, sexual perversion, and the value of honesty with oneself. This film tells the story of Graham (James Spader), a minimalist anti-yuppi, who goes back to his home town and stays with his long lost college buddy John (Peter Gallagher) who has become a lawyer and Ann (Ande MacDowell) his eccentric but conservative wife. John is a bit repelled by Graham's free-spirited honesty and liberalism, but it is intruiging to Ann... until Graham reveals to her that he is more-or-less impotent, and tapes women talking about sex to get off. John is having an affair with Ann's sister Cynthia (Laura San Giamoco) a sexually aggresive bartender, who is informed of Graham's indulgent practice and takes part in a "taping", which puts all four characters in a landslide of events. Ingeneously crafted by first-time director Steven Soderberg, this film was the sleeper hit of 1989, and probably the year's best film too. The performances are superb all around, and are backed by an excellent script. Though not a highly technical film, this film has some neat camera tricks to offer.The DVD of "sex, lies, and video" has only one extra feature worth metioning besides the theatrical trailer. That is the feature length commentary by the film's director Steven Soderberg, who is interviewed during the film by Niel LaBute, the director of "In the Company of Men". Better than most commentaries, the director discusses the preproduction of the film and his experience with the actors, rather than the technical aspects. This DVD is a great addition to anyone's video library."
Eroticism is in the conversation, rather than the act itself
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 04/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1989 film, written and directed by Steven Soderberg, was certainly the beginning of an important career for him. This low-budget film captured a wide audience and a large box office. It's a seemingly simple film, but it makes an important statement. Basically, it demonstrates that our most erogenous zone is the mind. And it is the conversation, rather than the act itself where eroticism lies.The story is about four modern people, all with relationship problems. Andie MacDowell is a frigid wife. Peter Gallager is her lawyer husband who cheats on her with her own sister, Laura San Giacomo. And James Spader is the husband's friend Graham, who, because of his own dysfunctional needs, can only get aroused one way - by watching videotapes of women talking about their erotic life. Otherwise, he's impotent in a real life situation. I found this film slow and talky but it was also intriguing. It goes deeper than the surface and I was fascinated by its creativity. And it uses the medium of videotape to do it all. This, of course was filmed before the Internet, cell phones and even DVDs. And so there is a certain datedness to it. But yet it deals with some universal truths. And a willingness to explore the lies. I enjoyed it but it's more for film buffs than a general audience. Recommended."
Incorporate This Film Into Your Collection
JEFF F. HAINES | Arcata, CA United States | 01/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, I'm highly biased. This is my favorite movie of all time.
It's a moody movie, set in the South, where emotion and dialogue carry me (and probably you) to the end. It's so good that, for me, it has become "peanut butter fiction," as if it's always been a part of my life. When there's nothing else to watch, I'll put it in. And I'll wonder why I waited so long to watch Sex, Lies, and Videotape again.
I've spent some time trying to identify the protagonist of this film. As with many great films, our hero is not clear. We have Ann (played by Andie MacDowell), the popular southern girl who, about a year ago, married a promising lawyer, John (Peter Gallagher), recently made junior partner of his firm. John is secretly sleeping with Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo), Ann's sister. This situation would have gone on indefinitely, were it not for the arrival of Graham (James Spader). Graham is John's old buddy who is moving back to town and, with John's permission, will be staying at John and Ann's upscale home. Although logically Graham should turn out to be just like John--a deceitful man--we quickly discover that the opposite is True. "True" with a capital T.
Graham has changed since the old days. He's artsy, mysterious, immediately strange and likeable, and Truthful. John doesn't know what to make of him. The dialogue in this movie is perfectly revealing, for instance, when Graham explains how he insists on having a car. John finds a need for a car humorous: "In case you have to leave someplace in a hurry." Graham counteracts this observation by adding, "Yeah, or go someplace in a hurry." The first response indicates guilt, the second determination. Graham has come back to town for a reason.
John sends Ann apartment hunting with Graham, which provides John the perfect opportunity to have sex with Cynthia in the marital house while they are away. Unbeknownst to him, Ann and Graham share a connection. So we have either Ann or Graham as our "hero." Ann subconsciously suspects infidelity, and Graham has come to town to show "someone" that he has changed--and we the audience come to realize that he is specifically NOT being John, although years ago he and John were probably exactly alike. Graham is specifically not a liar. He is also impotent.
Sorry if you feel I'm forcing "spoilers" upon your eyes. I could give a treatment of this entire movie and still make it worth watching. So far, the only thing I've left out of Sex, Lies, and Videotape is the videotape. Graham may not be able to have sex with another person, but he can "get off." He makes videotapes. He videotapes women talking about sex, and if you were to ask him if this is how he achieves sexual satisfaction, he'd say matter-of-factly Yes. He sits in the living room of the apartment that Ann helped him find watching women talk about their sexual experiences.
Perhaps this movie would have fizzled at this point, with Graham out of the marital home, but for the sexually oriented Cynthia who hears about Graham and his strange habits. Once Cynthia visits Graham in his personal space, the conflict of the movie becomes intereseting. This is a movie with few, if any, visual effects. O Trust me when I say you don't need them. The story is enough.
How will John react to Cynthia visiting his ex-best friend? How will John react to Ann, who is slowly becoming wise? How will John react to the fact that Graham is the center of attention? Until Graham's arrival, John lived in a perfect world.
If you press me, I'll say the protagonist of this story is Ann, because the outcome of events MOST affects her, and she is likeable. At first I thought the protagonist was Graham. There is a part of me that considers that John is the most affected by the plotline, because his perfect situation is in danger of falling like sand out of the palms of his grubby hands. In any work of fiction, he whom is MOST changed by story events is our hero. You'll have to decide that for yourself.
I consider Sex, Lies, and Videotape to be "peanut butter" cinema. It's so good that you accept it as such; it's a staple of your refrigerator--er--your DVD shelf. It will wait to be seen, yearly, like Bob Clark's A Christmas Story. You can't watch it daily, but you'll want to. You can put it in your DVD player and do other things, occasionally tuning in for great dialogue and masterful plotting. But that's only after you've watched it too many times. The first time, you'll wonder why there aren't more movies like this. You'll wish you were a screenwriter. You might even sit down at a blank First Draft document. You might wonder why you can't make the words come, and when they do come, you wonder why you're such a plagiarist. Why didn't you write Sex, Lies, and Videotape first?"