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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.67%
Worth A Look: 20%
Just Average: 6.67%
Pretty Crappy46.67%
Sucks: 0%

1 review, 9 user ratings

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Lie with Me
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by Jaycie

"PWP: The Movie."
2 stars

Utter the phrase “Canadian porn” and you’ll probably hear jokes about, say, a lumberjack and a maple syrup trucker getting it on while snowbound inside a Tim Hortons on the eve of the Grey Cup finals (working title: Always Getting His Man). While Lie with Me spares us that particular cliché dump, it may be even more pointless.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to use the word “porn.” Critics of this movie, and the novel of the same name by Tamara Faith Berger, have been divided over whether they should be classified as porn or art. Erotica, definitely, but decidedly on the cusp of porn due to the quadruple X-rated language of the novel and the unsimulated intercourse of the movie. It’s harder to call it “art” when the non-sexual content is as tacked on as it feels in the latter case. It’s as if director Clement Virgo was so nervous about getting a reputation as a porn purveyor that he came up with the dramatic tension while sitting on the toilet before shooting.

Here it is, nonetheless. While having outdoor sex with a random (Michael Facciolo) after a house party, Leila (Lauren Lee Smith) locks eyes with David (Eric Balfour), who looks scarily like the guy in the "Justify My Love" video and is having sex – being had sex with, really – with his non-random girlfriend Victoria (Polly Shannon) in the car at the exact same time. Leila and David later meet and have sex with each other many times and then they fall in love or something, but neither knows how to handle it because the only emotions they’ve known up until then are, respectively, arousal and dependence. Also, Leila’s parents get divorced and David’s father dies and they have to deal with that. BUT WHO CARES. SEX.

The sex scenes are the only reason to bother with Lie with Me, and on this point, at least, Virgo delivers. Smith and Balfour both look great, if you’re into that hipster goddess-on-cologne model aesthetic, and all accounts suggest they are in fact having sex with each other on camera and liking it. While Virgo could have been more adventurous about the acts portrayed, he does the female viewers a favor by having each partner orally pleasure the other, and by putting Leila in control of the majority of her sexual experiences and having her masturbate repeatedly. Lie with Me may not pass the Bechdel test, but at least it passes the “women also get something out of sex” test.

If only Leila got anything else out of anything. There’s nothing else to her character save her distress at her parents’ divorce, which as conveyed by Smith appears to be no more inconvenient than a couple of migraines. Balfour’s David is even more thinly drawn, with little to do other than look hot and pledge undying devotion to the woman who captivates him by a) having sex with someone else and b) fingering herself in a playground. (Yup.) Plus, the whole movie takes place in Toronto’s ultra-hip Annex neighbourhood, where Leila, a video store clerk, can afford a house all to herself. Right.

A much better movie would have been a straight-up duplication of Berger’s original novel, in which Leila narrates her encounters and a series of unnamed men offer their perspectives on her. Some narration is here – it even includes the word “cock” (GASP!) – but it’s handled as deftly as one would expect from any movie with narration. Which is to say, not much.

Bottom line? You COULD waste 93 minutes on this movie, but you’d be better off having sex yourself.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12815&reviewer=432
originally posted: 06/22/15 16:24:06
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Vancouver Film Festival For more in the 2005 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 San Francisco Independent Film Festival For more in the 2006 San Francisco Independent Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/18/18 s banerjee watch it for the aesthetics 3 stars
3/01/10 JL Thin plot is just excuse to show sex and nudity scenes 2 stars
8/23/09 The Great Lee Card Bold, exciting, tragic, meaningful, the saddness of life is here in this movie 5 stars
6/04/09 jeanne OK, we'll save advanced film theory for later; Eric Balfour pierced my soul (& other bits)! 5 stars
9/14/08 Arcane A crap movie with the amazingly hot Mutant X girl going for glory. Stars for the sex only. 4 stars
8/10/07 lee What's it? 5 stars
4/29/06 Rosalie MacDonald Extremely realistic portrayal. Dialogue iffy especially the narration, bit visuals carry it 4 stars
9/11/05 Kirby Brazenly sexual, tender . . . most of all, honest. 4 stars
9/01/05 yung'un awsomely acted and unbelievably graphic!! 5 stars
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