A Clever if Acidic Dialogue About Relationships
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Writer/Director Ken Kwapis ('About a Boy', 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants', episodes on TV series 'ER', 'The Office', 'Malcolm in the Middle', etc) knows his ways around the ups and downs of contemporary relationships, weighing the importance of the physical aspect of the union against the para-physical benefits and makes no prescription for which is of more importance. SEXUAL LIFE explores several couples whose married or about to be married status receives the testing of infidelity.
A wedding photographer is frustrated with his executive girlfriend's lack of intimacy and seeks physical satisfaction through an upscale prostitute who has her own rather solid ground views of her business. The photographer's girlfriend is finding physical satisfaction with her married architect boss who in turn is trying to hide his infidelity from his wife who in turn feels she must seek outside satisfaction with an old college flame who happens to be gay and she turns to a hotel clerk at the point of a fantasy liaison for gratification. The hotel clerk happens to be having an affair with an engaged African American girl and is frustrated about her impending marriage to a frustratedly 'correct' African American male who feels he is following a proscribed duty and seeks attention from the prostitute who opens the whole story. How these intersecting couples work out their dilemmas and resolve their individual needs for expanded physical needs in the presence of the safety of relationships is the clever puzzle Kwapis presents - with the conclusions primarily left up to us, the viewers.
The cast is homogeneously fine and attractive - Eion Bailey, Elizabeth Banks, Fionnula Flanagan, Anne Heche, Dule Hill, Sam Jaeger, Kerry Washington, Steven Weber, Steven Williams, Shirley Knight, James LeGros, Tom Everett Scott, and Azura Skye along with the minor characters. Kwapis keeps the flow integrated so that the story does indeed seem like a series of coincidences. The sexual scenes are more suggested than graphic and should not offend even the most skeptical viewer. This was, after all, a movie made for Showtime TV, but it stands very well as a tightly conceived and acted lesson about relationships. Well worth watching. Grady Harp, July 06
Sex is private but the impact ripples on
Toomuchnoise | 10/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I admit it... I watched this movie for the title. I live in a highly
censored country yet they were showing it on Star Movies! I expected B-movie tawdry but was rewarded with a good movie about sex.
The movie is a decent exploration of the ripple effect of sex -- not a
masterpiece -- but a thoughtful look at the subject.
It's not a spoiler to say that the story line jumps from partner to
partner through a series of sexual encounters. At times, the links loop
around to reveal connection even the character are unaware of.
It reminded me of the STD warnings that when you have sex with a
person, you are also having sex with every one of THEIR partners.
With any ensemble caste movie, the acting isn't equal but there really
is no bad acting in this film. I thought Anne Heche really stood out
and her performance makes this a "must see" for Heche fans (like me.)
If I was a TV director, I'd take this idea and turn it into a
mini-series. Each one of the sub-plots could have been given given its
own 73-minute treatment and explored a few of the loose ends that could not be developed in 96 minutes."
A Glimpse Into Diffferent Lives
Harlow86 | Ohio | 07/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just watched this movie & found it to be even better than I originally thought it would be. The movie is about different people and how their sex lives and thus relationships intertwine. I found the characters to be interesting & the parts were well-acted. I thought it was neat how the film started with the character Lorna then ended with her. It was very well put together and flowed very nicely.
The writing was also very good. It's thought-provoking & really makes you think about relationships. I agree as one of the previously reviewers said, that if you liked the movie Closer you'll probably like Sexual Life. However, if I were you I wouldn't expect this film to be quite as powerful as Closer. It's similar in that it deals with relationships, but it is not as personal. The viewer is held at more of a distance, whereas in Closer you feel as though you know the characters so well. Closer is so intimate. I saw Sexual Life to be more of a glimpse into people's lives. That is the way it is meant to be though. It's not quite the same kind of film as Closer, so I guess it just depends what you prefer.
I would definitely recommend Sexual Life. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I know I will watch it again and again."