Sex, Love and Videotape

On movie sex and movie love...

Category: Other

Up in the Air

YEAR: 2009
DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman
KEY ACTORS: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick
CERTIFICATE: 15
IMDB SCORE: 7.4
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 91%

SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ Rewatchable – it’s soft and gentle and sweet and funny and thought provoking and easy watching, and I could watch it every week!
✔️ And yes, I do want to fuck the cast. I’d even argue that this film is George Clooney’s hotness peak!
✔️ Hotel sex with a handsome stranger was certainly a fantasy before this film, but it added the idea of luxury and exclusivity to this fantasy; a frisson of transience and possibility on expensive sheets.
✔️ Although it is another movie that has a possible cheating plot, I do think it’s sex positive as the main focus is on being OK with who you are. Whether you’re frequent flier Ryan or his home girl sister, it’s OK to have the life (and the love and sex) that you want and in the absence of significant sex negative themes, I’m going to give it the mark.
❌ But does it pass the Bechdel test? Can it be only the second 5/5 movie?? In the end, this comes down to accepting nuance in a binary question. There is one conversation between two named female characters that isn’t about men or dating – Natalie fires Karen Barnes, the women who later takes their own life. It’s an important plot point, but it is only one conversation and the women’s name is only revealed later. She is also not listed in the credits. Is that enough to scrape over this lowest of bars? I don’t think it is…

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sex, lies and videotape

YEAR: 1989
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
KEY ACTORS: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo
CERTIFICATE: 15
IMDB SCORE: 7.2/10
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 96%

SEX SCORE: 5/5 (Fuckable cast, sex positive themes, source of fantasy material, passes the Bechdel test, rewatchable. Yes!!)

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Sex, love and videotape

A photo of a segment of my DVD shelf with a small gold trophy with ‘Best Shag’ written on it

In 2012, I decided to write a list of every movie I’d watched. By the end of January, the list was 43 films long and I decided to set myself a challenge: could I watch 365 films in a year? The answer is yes, I could. I could watch 371 in fact!

I love watching movies. As a child, I’d watch the same film over and over, sometimes every day, until I could recite every word or make up my own lines between the dialogue to write myself in as a character. As a teenager, I’d seek out every film that anyone ever recommended so that I could drink in every moment, every experience. I’d watch action movies, rom coms, historical fiction, science fiction…everything. Once I left home, going to the cinema was my escape, and I have never lost my love of it, going as often as I can and seeking out cinema experiences – outdoor screenings, immersive cinema showings, movie marathons, double bills and singalongs. I also own over 400 DVDs, many now stored in the cellar as technology has already surpassed them but I just can’t bring myself to throw them away. I love love love watching movies!

I also love sex. I love sex! But I only really discovered how much and in how many hot and horny ways in the last five years or so. I hadn’t experienced enough to know what I wanted. Strangely considering how much I love movies, porn doesn’t do anything for me as my fantasies always needed more of a story. I imagined elaborate scenarios where the physical act of sex was only a very small part and I would get off on the build up, the personal interactions; the plot. Really, I needed a whole movie, not porn!

So movies with good sex scenes were everything to me. Plots about sex or sexuality and hot characters in hot situations would inspire fantasies that I couldn’t dream up on my own. They were also an education of sorts. Sex education is notoriously rubbish and when I was at school did not include anything about pleasure. In lieu of actual experience, I used movies to answer questions or demonstrate what sex should be like.

But is that a reasonable thing to do? And which are the good movies to watch? Which are the hot hot mainstream movies and what can they teach us about sex? Are there movies that teach good lessons about love and relationships?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I know which movies I like and which turn me on. I know which movies I think have interesting themes or handle difficult topics well (or badly!). And I kind of fancied watching them all again!

This new blog will, therefore, be a catalogue of my favourite movies that discuss sex; talking about why I like them (or don’t like them) and what I learned (or didn’t learn) from them. They may be on my list because they’re hot or because they’re fascinating. They may be included even if they’re rubbish but start the right conversations. They may be there because they had a profound and lasting effect on me, or just because they’re a favourite!

I’m also giving each movie a score out of five – my ‘sex score!’ I was tempted to just give a personal rating but I have a tendency to score everything very highly and I’m not sure how useful a list of movies scoring 4 or 5 out of 5 would be! I expect the scores will still be relatively high, especially to start with, as I will only really be choosing films that I like and each score is essentially based on my opinion, but at least there’s a process!

The movie could score a point for a positive answer for each of these five areas:

Cast fuckability: simply, do I want to have sex with the cast?
Sex positive themes: does the movie actually like sex or is it just a plot point or weapon? Does it show sex work or sex in a positive way or is it judgemental?
Source of fantasy material: not all movies that include sex, um, inspire me or provide building material for fantasies. But if there’s an idea or even just an image or a flash of magic that I can’t forget, it gets a mark!
Bechdel test: although passing this test does not guarantee that it is a feminist movie, it is a low enough bar that I think it’s worth noting if it fails! So, are there two named female characters? Who talk to each other? About something other than a man?
Rewatchable: I watch movies a lot, and over and over again. So would I watch this one again if I saw it on TV?

I am so excited about watching all of these delicious wonderful hot movies again!!

So which mainstream movies do you love? Which turn you on? I’d love to hear about them…

New posts will be published on Sunday evenings and the first will be Steven Soderbergh’s 1989 masterpiece, sex lies and videotape.