Simply something different and wonderful
Lance Rice | Atlanta, GA | 01/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mitchell Anderson leads a great ensemble cast in this story of a gay man who after a second hate crime leaves his colorful cast of friends to find himself. While Mitchell is wonderful it's the rest of the cast including Jennifer Tilly and Lorie Petty who STEAL the show. The speech given by Lorie's girlfriend in the movie was one of the most heartfelt scenes I've ever witnessed in a movie. It's worth the price of the DVD itself. At it's heart it's a comedy with dramatic elements. Definitely a must have."
This film made every one I know - Cry - It's BEAUTIFUL!
Angela | 11/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a film that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride... I cried so hard during this movie. It's not really about sex... it's about the friendships that happen once in a lifetime... deep friendships... and the love that's forged in them. Jennifer Tilly was outstanding in this role. Lori Petty and Cynda Williams have a scene that will touch your heart. If you watch it for the first time... make sure you have a box of kleenex handy!"
One of the best American movies I've seen in a while
David | New York | 02/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie not knowing anything about it and was so pleasantly surprised. I thought that the script was intelligent and poignant and also very funny at just the right moments. I found the characters to be engaging and with a lot of chemistry between them. The film also touches on subjects not often thought of by mainstream films. I can't wait to see it again to pick up on more of the subtleties that I'm sure I missed because the film was so strong! I highly recommend it!"
Love and sex in darkest LA
Libretio | 03/28/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX
(USA - 1997)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Stereo SR
The lives and loves of a group of friends - mostly gay, some straight - are placed under the microscope in writer-director P.J. Castellaneta's LA-based production, a dialogue-heavy comedy-drama which unfolds like a theatre-piece and is largely energized by a top-notch cast of formerly B-list players, deservedly elevated to lead status.
Adopting several points-of-view throughout, the movie opens on unlucky-in-love Mitchell Anderson (one-time regular on TV's "Doogie Howser, M.D.") and his friendship with sharp-tongued Jennifer Tilly (BOUND, BRIDE OF CHUCKY, etc.) who's desperate to have a baby with her reluctant boyfriend (Timothy Paul Perez), whose brother (Eddie Garcia) has just been diagnosed with HIV. Garcia's illness brings the core group of characters together, including Cynda Williams and Serena Scott Thomas (Kristin's sister) as long-term lovers whose relationship is on the slide ("We haven't had good sex since Martina won Wimbledon!"), and Anderson's would-be boyfriend (T.C. Carson), an artist and radical thinker whose contentious views on the AIDS crisis allows Castellaneta to engage in a controversial debate about the relationship between HIV and AIDS and the effectiveness of current medical remedies; some viewers may want to hear more of these theories, while others will likely applaud Tilly when she advises Carson to: "Shut the [bleep] up!" It's lively stuff, and the characters are likeable and engaging. But the group's complacency is irrevocably shattered by a horrific encounter with gay-bashers midway through the movie, an event which concludes in a wholly unexpected (but no less sickening) manner, and which causes the entire group to re-evaluate their priorities and expectations, leading to a bittersweet conclusion.
Opening with a tongue-in-cheek introduction which pokes fun at straight viewers for their well-known aversion to gay themes in mainstream entertainment, the movie - which won the Audience Award at the Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 1998 - segues immediately into a joyous sex session between Anderson and a curiously uncredited super-hunk, which sets the tone for much of what follows. Overall, the movie offers a sweet but superficial examination of the gulf between sex and love, and demonstrates how a broad range of 'divided' communities - men/women, gay/straight, black/white - experience the same problems as every other community, without distinction.
Tilly dominates proceedings as an earth-mother figure whose love for her friends is matched only by her devotion to the man in her life, while Anderson makes a startlingly convincing transition from down-on-his-luck loser to born-again militant after life deals him a particularly unpleasant blow. Other cast members are superb - including Lori Petty (the eponymous TANK GIRL) and Joe Dallesandro-lookalike Billy Wirth (a model-turned-actor who recently branched out into directing) - and there are hilarious cameos from veterans Susan Tyrrell and Seymour Cassel (horrified that their erstwhile lesbian daughter [Scott Thomas] has suddenly taken up with a...a MAN!!) and Paul Winfield as an outrageous seen-it-all-before queen who takes Anderson under his wing during a moment of crisis.
The film derives most of its strength from the quality of the performances and dialogue, and while the production is clearly more technically polished than Castellaneta's previous micro-budgeted offering (TOGETHER ALONE ), it's marred by Lon Magdich's slightly ragged-looking cinematography, possibly due to the director's use of cheap film stock.