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Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look62.5%
Just Average: 37.5%
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2 reviews, 4 user ratings

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Love and Sex
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by Greg Muskewitz

"It lacks all of what the title promises."
3 stars

Is being single really as bad as it’s played up to be? Sure, you may feel lonely and maybe even unwanted, but plenty of relationships are the same way –you’re just in one to be able to wear a "taken" sign. Where’s the happiness in that? In my opinion, you can bifurcate relationships into the title of this movie: "Love & Sex." And as Kate Welles (Famke Janssen) will show us, she’s tried it all.

"First love is the most powerful," she tells us, "because you haven’t been hurt yet." Kate’s first love was in grade school, and when it was discovered, the boy was teased and taunted so he broke it off. Pretty much everything since then has been a downward spiral for her. This is all recounted to us via flashback by Kate as she ruminates why everything has gone so bad. (Her current job is a writer at "Monique" magazine writing articles on how blow-jobs pull her out of depression. The original "Nosferatu" depresses her, but she says, "I like being depressed. I get deep and introspective.")

If not blatantly obvious already, her love life has been prey dry ("They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to the prince" –one wonders if she’s kissed as many as she’s blown), and she begins to recite all of her failures. Some are funny in a sitcommy way (she ends up dating a guy she, just seconds before, rear-ended) and probably this shares a lot in common with "Sex in the City" –only I wouldn’t know because I don’t watch it. But Kate always seems to fall back on Adam (Jon Favreau), an artist who paints disturbing images (a woman pulling a head out of her derriere, etc.). She’s lasted longer with him than anyone else, but inevitably it had to end.

And so it goes on and so she explains ("As you move on in love, sex is the fastest way to erase the past") until she realizes that "I’m a relationship leper!" Once Kate and Adam’s relationship has ended, it becomes a race to date others fastest and see who will get over who first. But that’s where writer/director Valerie Breiman’s movie begins to lose steam and feel like an overextended episode of "Friends." There’s no doubt that this is probably based on real material –most likely Breiman’s own—but the broader and more unraveled it gets, the more it’s like a confabulation.

First off, I doubt someone who looks like Famke Janssen and has the personality of "Kate’s" would have such a struggle to find someone –I’ve never run across anyone like that. What this turns out being like is "High Fidelity" from earlier this year. Both movies suffer from the same inability to quit while they’re ahead. They think that their unique stories are going to serve as such interesting topics for the audience, but that’s where they’re wrong, because we all have similar stories in some shape or form. And by trying to identify through a commiseration for one another, it loses the effect as it is passed on. This female version of "High Fidelity" plummets because it fails to see that it isn’t nearly as interesting or entertaining as it hoped to be.

The title is misleading, because obviously there’s very little love (as opposed to lust and want) and the actual extent of sex seems to be narrowed down to one sentence in the movie. It's not stolid, it’s non-existent. There’s no stirring sex, noteworthy, mentionable, or even boring sex. With such a title, you’re built up for nothing but a tease.

Janssen does a believably understood girl-in-want, but it’s too hard to believe that she wouldn’t be in constant desire of some fruitful guy. Favreau’s characteristics fit into the script for some verbal horseplay, but when it comes down to it, his physical presence as well as his gesticulator presentation come off very rehearsed and fake. His arms and head fly back in aghast as if he were practicing for the role of a drag queen. Favreau has good timing, but carries the wrong element when he’s out of his element.

Valerie Breiman is too empathetic with her own work, and as a result, drives the audience away. She’s creates some great moments, but she pushes it too hard on us. I halfway enjoyed the movie, but the repetition of circumstances were an attrition to the big picture. Cheri Oteri, gleefully as always, pops up for a hilarious tidbit. David Schwimmer’s cameo was also energetic and spry, in a nicely arranged scene. Still sitcommy, it only reiterates my "Friends" comment. A "satisfactory" on the scorecard –that is if you’re keeping score.

Final Verdict: C+.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3893&reviewer=172
originally posted: 12/13/00 02:33:30
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User Comments

5/25/06 William Goss Charming little rom-com, and never too much Famke in my book. 4 stars
9/30/03 Phil M. Aficionado It's a nice little package; no surprises, except the suprise of being quite good to watch 4 stars
6/16/01 Hayley This movie was pretty good but fell a little flat towards the end. 4 stars
10/05/00 Add Very honest, real movie but turns hypocritical towards the end. Not average,not great. 4 stars
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  25-Aug-2000 (R)



Directed by
  Valerie Breiman

Written by
  Valerie Breiman

  Famke Janssen
  Jon Favreau
  Cheri Oteri
  Noah Emmerich
  Josh Hopkins
  Ann Magnuson

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