Sex, Love and Videotape

On movie sex and movie love...

Category: Masculinity

American Beauty

YEAR: 1999
DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes
KEY ACTORS: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari
CERTIFICATE: 18
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.

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Die Hard

YEAR: 1988
DIRECTOR: John McTiernan
KEY ACTORS: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
CERTIFICATE: 15
IMDB SCORE: 8.2
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 93%

SEX SCORE: 3.5/5
✔️Proving quite how easily it can be done even with very few female characters, this does pass the Bechdel Test!
✔️ It’s also incredibly rewatchable and I would watch it every day if I could!
✔️ And I do want to fuck the cast. Whether looking at peak Bruce Willis hotness or the not insignificant appeal of Alan Rickman, there is a lot here to enjoy!
❌ But it didn’t inspire any fantasies! It’s not really a sexual film and I’d rather avoid being involved in a hostage situation.
❓And I’d argue that this is a sex neutral film due to the very limited qualifying content, so it gets a half mark..

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Pride and Prejudice

YEAR: 2005
DIRECTOR: Joe Wright
KEY ACTORS: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen
CERTIFICATE: PG
IMDB SCORE: 7.8
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 86%

SEX SCORE: 5/5
✔️ I love this film and definitely think it’s rewatchable!
✔️ I also definitely want to fuck the cast. Keira Knightley is beautiful as always and Matthew Macfadyen is seriously fuckable in this movie!
✔️ I’m going to give it a mark for sex positivity. Sex isn’t mentioned explicitly but enthusiastic consent for marriage and making good relationship decisions is certainly a big topic, as is disrespectful treatment of women, so I’m happy to say it’s sex positive!
✔️ And it passes the Bechdel Test! I mean, the named women talk about balls and ribbons and dancing, rather than directly talking about men, but it’s still a pass!
✔️ And, drum roll, I’m going to give it a mark for inspiring fantasies as Darcy is a fantasy man for so many people, including me. 5/5!!

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