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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Love and Sex (review)

There are two kinds of women in the world. There are those who put up with boring guys they can’t stand to be around just “because sometimes you just have to get out of the house.” And there are those who develop their own interests, nurture their own friends, and are quite capable of taking themselves out of the house without a male escort. Kate Welles (Famke Janssen: X-Men), who would “rather blow up than be single,” is, as you might have guessed, the former. In the course of writing an article for Monique magazine on how to perform oral sex, Kate reminisces about her screwed-up love life, which has encompassed lots of sex and very little love. And no wonder it’s such a mess. Self-centered and seemingly without an idea in her head beyond snagging and keeping a boyfriend, Kate is one of the most unlikable women I’ve seen onscreen recently. She endures assholes and idiots just so she doesn’t have to sleep alone, and when she finds a similarly shallow male companion in Adam Levy (Jon Favreau: Deep Impact), she wonders why they can’t make the relationship work. Like a female High Fidelity or Tao of Steve, Love and Sex strives for the meaningful exploration of how Xers sabotage their romances, and falls horribly flat, lacking what those much better films achieved: characters who engage our sympathy in spite of, and often because of, their flaws. Kate and Adam only engage our enmity. These are not people I want to spend time with, and at 82 minutes, Love and Sex feels like an eternity. Bah.

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
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