- YEAR: 2001
- Director: Baz Luhrmann
- KEY ACTORS: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor
- CERTIFICATE: 12
- IMDB SCORE: 7.6
- ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 76%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ It does pass the Bechdel test…but only just! Satine has a conversation with Marie, her dresser, about being a star. That’s it.
✔️ And, oh my gosh, I want to fuck the cast! It’s difficult to argue whether this is either of McGregor or Kidman’s peak hotness because they have just had so many peaks but, damn, they are beautiful in this movie…
✔️ It’s also incredibly rewatchable. If I come across it on TV, I will always watch it, no matter where in the movie we are.
✔️ And Moulin Rouge did inspire fantasies. Not of sex work but of being that beautiful, that glamorous, that sexually confident…
❌ But it is not sex positive! It’s not sex worker positive, it’s not feminist, and it values virginity much too highly!
As always, this contains spoilers so watch the film before you read on…
STREAMING: Amazon Prime (rent £2.49, buy £6.99), YouTube (from £3.99). For a full list of streaming options, check out JustWatch.com
DIRECTOR: Sharon Maguire
KEY ACTORS: Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
IMDB SCORE: 6.7
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 81%
SEX SCORE: 5/5
✔️The cast are definitely fuckable. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant, Rene Zellweger and Sally Phillips; there’s someone for every mood!
✔️ And although the qualifying dialogue has been described as meaningless, which feels unnecessarily cutting, there are plenty of named female characters who talk about other subjects than men so it passes the Bechdel Test.
✔️ It also definitely inspired fantasies – even though she’s supposed to be a mess, Bridget was pretty aspirational for me sexually. It may reveal the limitations of my own sexual fantasies, but I really wanted dirty weekends away in a B+B, I wanted to send secret messages to a coworker that I was fucking, and I wanted to do all of that while I still didn’t think I was perfect. And I really, really wanted a kiss like that between Bridget and Darcy.
✔️ It is also incredibly rewatchable. I cannot recall how often I’ve seen this film but it still makes me laugh every time and still makes me so happy, every time!
✔️ After much deliberation, I also decided that it is sex positive – more on this later!
DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón
KEY ACTORS: Gael García Bernal, Maribel Verdú, Diego Luna
IMDB SCORE: 7.7
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 92%
Today’s review is a guest post from the fabulous Exhibit A – sex blogger extraordinaire and my husband! If you like his perspective, do check out his blog. You won’t be disappointed!
SEX SCORE: 5/5
✔️ It just about passes the Bechdel test – there is only one significant female character but there are lots of named secondary characters that Luisa speaks to about other subjects.
✔️Rewatchable? Well I’ve seen it at least three times now, and enjoyed it on each occasion, so that’s a definite yes.
✔️Sex positive? I wavered over this for a long time. But yes, I think it is.
✔️Inspired fantasies? Yes, though the way in which it does so has changed over the years! YTMT was released when I was 20, so roughly the same age as Julio and Tenoch. Back then, it was very easy to put myself in their shoes; now the fantasies owe more to the general air of anticipation, tenderness, and exploration running through the climactic (heh) sex scene.
✔️Fuck the cast? Tricky one. I would absolutely fuck Maribel Verdú’s caustic, no-nonsense Luisa, and if offered a threesome with either Gael Garcia Bernal or Diego Luna now, I’d say yes in a heartbeat. As bratty teenagers though, they appeal rather less! I’m tempted to go with the cop-out option and give it a half-mark, but given the many wonderful and terrible things I’d do with/to Verdú alone, I think it just about clears the bar.
DIRECTOR: Nancy Meyers
KEY ACTORS: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei
IMDB SCORE: 6.4/10
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 54%
SEX SCORE: 1/5
❌ Not sex positive – I suspect this was supposed to be sex positive – or at least vaguely feminist – but it hasn’t aged well at all and the male gaze is too infuriating for it to count.
❌ I don’t particularly want to watch this again – I fear that it will only age further…
❌ It didn’t inspire any fantasies – it’s more of a romance than a sexual film, but it’s certainly not a romantic trope that I’d like to be involved in: misogynist undermines professional woman, almost destroying her career, and yet she falls in love with him anyway!?
❌ I don’t want to fuck Mel Gibson. Helen Hunt, maybe, but not enough for a point…
✔️ Somehow this does pass the Bechdel test, but I’m giving the mark very begrudgingly – women talk to each other about something other than men but they rarely both have names and are almost always interrupted by men. Urgh.