- YEAR: 1997
- DIRECTOR: Robert Zemeckis
- KEY ACTORS: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt
- CERTIFICATE: PG
- IMDB SCORE: 7.4
- ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 65%
Today’s guest post is written by Charlie X (they/he), a blogger I have only recently started reading and who shares the most incredible photos! Follow them on Twitter @CharlieXblog. They have chosen to look at Contact through a Freudian psychoanalytical lens and it is fascinating…
SEX SCORE: 2.5/5
✔️ Contact passes the Bechdel Test.
❌ But Charlie did not want to fuck the cast. (I probably would…)
❌ And we both agree that it didn’t inspire fantasies. It’s not really a movie about sex!
❓ Which is why it’s difficult to say whether it’s sex positive or not. There are no red flags but no are there positive attributes either…
✔️ But is is definitely rewatchable! If only because there are a lot of strands to pick at and lots to think about.
As always, this contains spoilers so watch the film before you read on…
STREAMING: Amazon Prime (free with subscription), BFI Player, YouTube (from £3.99). For a full list of streaming options, check out JustWatch.com
- YEAR: 1995
- DIRECTOR: Amy Heckerling
- KEY ACTORS: Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, Stacey Dash
- CERTIFICATE: 12
- IMDB SCORE: 6.8
- ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 80%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ Of course this is rewatchable! It may be 25 years old but I could still watch it again and again.
✔️ It’s incredibly sex positive. Even back in 1995, the women didn’t judge each other for their sexual experience or lack of experience. There is no slut shaming and virgin shaming is clearly shown to be wrong, and it’s awesome!
✔️ And it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours. The three main characters are women and they talk about school, driving tests, make overs…
✔️ I will give it a mark for wanting to fuck the cast. I prefer older Paul Rudd, because he does look different, but he’s cute here and Alicia Silverstone is hot!
❌ But it didn’t inspire fantasies. It’s not really a sexual film and I don’t really think I can attribute crushes on older unobtainable people on Clueless!
- YEAR: 1994
- DIRECTOR: Mike Newell
- KEY ACTORS: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell
- CERTIFICATE: 15
- IMBD SCORE: 7.0
- ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 96%
SEX SCORE: 5/5
✔️ This movie is definitely rewatchable! Sadly, it’s not on TV as often as other Richard Curtis movies as I could watch it every day!
✔️ It’s difficult to know if this movie is the source of wedding dress fantasies or not, but this was certainly my first exposure to the idea of fucking while wearing a wedding dress.
✔️ And it does pass the Bechdel Test, but only just!! Apparently the only qualifying line between two named female characters is this one: Scarlett: Isn’t she beautiful? Fiona: Scarlett, you’re blind, she looks like a big meringue.
✔️ I contemplated this one for quite a long time but I have concluded that the cast are fuckable. None are at their hotness peak but they’re all looking pretty good!
✔️ And it is sex positive. The characters all fuck around and have a lot of sex and, while it may be greeted with humour and hilarity, the characters are never judged for it. And I like that!
DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes
KEY ACTORS: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari
IMDB SCORE: 8.3
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 87%
SEX SCORE: 1/5
✔️ It does pass the Bechdel Test. There is a lot of talk of dating and men but there are enough examples for it to easily qualify.
❌ But I don’t want to fuck the cast. Are we supposed to? They’re all flawed and difficult to take seriously. These don’t necessarily make someone unfuckable but here they really do!
❌ And it’s not that rewatchable. It’s not a film I’d watch from halfway through if I found it on TV and it’s kind of intense!!
❌ It also didn’t inspire fantasies. There is something in being totally and utterly desired, as Lester desires Angela, but the power dynamics on display are all wrong for me.
❌ But is it sex positive? I’ve thought a lot about this and I can’t give it the mark. The portrayal of teenage sex was pretty accurate, lies and exaggerations included, and it wasn’t exactly negative about the sexual needs of its characters, but even the slightest hint of sympathy or justification for homophobia and statutory rape is unforgivable.
DIRECTOR: Gil Junger
KEY ACTORS: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik
IMDB SCORE: 7.3
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 66%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ First off, this film is incredibly rewatchable. And it seems to be on the TV all the time. Yay!
✔️ And it is sex positive. I particularly liked how sex was accurately discussed as something teenagers do, rather than being shocking in itself. Bianca’s surprise that Kat had had sex with Joey sprung from her shock at not being told, rather than the act itself, and Kat’s regret was based on how Joey acted afterwards. She had consented to having sex but changed her mind about doing it again; for once, it wasn’t assault as a plot point.
✔️ It does pass the Bechdel Test, although it did take some thought to remember conversations that weren’t about dating!
✔️ And I definitely, definitely want to fuck the cast. It’s Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles!
❌ But it didn’t inspire fantasies. It’s not really that kind of movie and I didn’t want to have their ‘outsiders together’ relationship.
DIRECTOR: Paul Verhoeven (as Jan Jensen)
KEY ACTORS: Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon, Kyle MacLachlan
IMDB SCORE: 4.8
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 22%
SEX SCORE: 1.5/5
✔️ Showgirls does pass the Bechdel Test with lots of talk about dancing and work between the many named female characters
❌ But it’s not rewatchable. Regardless of how interesting and clever I think this film is, it is objectively bad.
❌ Extraordinarily considering how beautiful and naked they are, I don’t want to fuck the cast. They’re prickly and spiky and too too much to be fuckable
❌ And the hostile atmosphere meant that this movie didn’t inspire fantasies.
❓But is it sex positive? I’m going to leave this as a half mark of a maybe. I found it hard to decide as, superficially, it is not sex positive. There’s ample evidence of abuse, manipulation and extortion, but it never glamorises that attitude and does not shy away from showing how awful it is. It also approaches sexual taboos like period sex without any fuss. So…maybe?
DIRECTOR: Francis Ford Coppola
KEY ACTORS: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins, Sadie Frost
IMDB SCORE: 7.4
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 73%
SEX SCORE: 1/5
✔️ This passes the Bechdel Test as Lucy and Mina talk about other topics than men…but really not often!
❌ But it’s not rewatchable. It’s too ridiculous and I don’t get it.
❌ I don’t want to fuck the cast – I love Keanu Reeves but his accent is too terrible and Gary Oldman, well, just no.
❌ And it’s not sex positive. In fact, its incredibly sex negative, particularly regarding women. Independent women with a free sexual spirit are punished – and deserve it!
❌ There’s also nothing to fantasise about. The idea of a man who has waited across time for you may be an old fashioned romantic ideal, but it felt really non-consensual here and unwanted.
DIRECTOR: Griffin Dunne
KEY ACTORS: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman
IMDB SCORE: 6.3
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 21%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ It is indeed rewatchable, but it took me a long time to get there!
✔️ With so few significant male roles, I’d worry if this failed the Bechdel Test but luckily it passes with ease!
✔️ Considering this film has a predominantly female cast, and I’m quite underwhelmed by the men on screen, and I’m straight, this perhaps shouldn’t get a mark from me but even I can’t deny that the cast are fuckable. 1990s were a successful time for them both and arguably their hotness peak so yes, fuckable!
✔️ I almost didn’t give it a mark for inspiring fantasies but I couldn’t ignore that kiss. Sally and her husband’s kiss to Faith Hill’s famous song, This Kiss, is everything.
❌ But despite much soul searching as I love the feminism of this film, I can’t give it a mark for sex positivity. ‘Since when is being a slut a crime in this family?’ Gillian asks but she does suffer. She is the more promiscuous sister who is shown to party with millions of friends and makes jokes about locking up husbands on her return, and she ends up in an abusive relationship. She suffers for her sexuality, and it saddens me that this is the case because it is otherwise a hugely positive and feminist movie.
YEAR: Sunrise 1995, Sunset 2004, Midnight 2013
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater
KEY ACTORS: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
IMDB SCORE: Sunrise 8.1, Sunset 8.0, Midnight 7.9
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: Sunrise 100%, Sunset 95%, Midnight 97%
SEX SCORE: 4.5/5
✔️ Definitely rewatchable – and I’d recommend watching the full trilogy in one sitting if you can.
✔️ The cast are definitely fuckable. Julie Delpy is all sorts of fantastic and although there is something, well, weaselly about Ethan Hawke, the chemistry between them is so hot that I still want him despite his somewhat wiry facial hair!
✔️ And these movies did inspire lots of fantasies – meeting a hot stranger on a train, fucking in a park, missing a plane home because I needed to fuck someone right there and then…
✔️ On balance, I think these movies are sex positive. This is mainly as there isn’t much sex negativity so it gets a mark by default!
❓ Only Before Midnight passes…but it’s the only one with more than two named characters after all. The films are so focused on those two characters that this test feels, well, irrelevant.
DIRECTOR: Paul Verhoeven
KEY ACTORS: Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Jeanne Tripplehorn
IMDB SCORE: 6.9
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 53%
SEX SCORE: 3/5
❌ Fails the Bechdel test – none of the female characters speak to each other – and it generally portrays women very poorly…
✔️ I’ve not seen this for years but it definitely stands up to a rewatch and I’d be happy to watch it again so, yes, rewatchable!
✔️ I do think the cast are fuckable but this point comes with a caveat. The sex is hot and Sharon Stone is HOT but I really don’t rate Michael Douglas – as an actor or as an attractive lead. I don’t know why but he does nothing for me. And yet…
✔️ It did inspire fantasies – luckily for my husband, not fantasies of murder or manipulation but of sex that hot and of being a women who was in control her own pleasure. Who wouldn’t want that?
❌ But is it sex positive? Yes, it’s hot and explicit and kinky and mainstream and all about female pleasure but it’s kind of homophobic and the women are awful and sex is used as a weapon or threat and there’s the infamous story about Stone not consenting to the upskirting and I just can’t give it the mark…