Synopsis: What do we talk about when sex is over? Meet eight couples – straight and gay; virgins and strangers; lovers, liars, cheaters, and swingers – as they deal with the pleasure, anger, confusion, regret, laughter and other sensations that make physical intimacy an emotional ride. Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, Marc Blucas, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Taryn Manning, Keir O’Donnell, Tanc Sade, John Witherspoon and Jane Seymour lead an arousing cast in this provocative comedy/drama about everything can happen before the morning and After Sex.
After Sex 7.0
eyelights: the variety of couples and settings. the challenged stereotypes.
eyesores: the trite dialogues. the clichés. the weak performances.
“Okay, you know those carnival games? And you know how some of them are really hard to win and some of them are super easy and everyone wins? Well, that’s the difference between love and sex.”
So… what do you do after sex? Do you roll over and sleep? Do you snuggle? Do you go to the bathroom to clean up? Do you get up to get a drink? A snack, maybe? Do you talk? Do you ever wonder what other people do when they’re done doing the “dirty deed”? Have you ever wished you were a fly on their wall?
Released in 2007, ‘After Sex’ is the feature film debut of writer/director/producer Eric Amadio. It’s about the post-orgasmic conversations of eight different couples, all of different ages, races, and inclinations. It covers a range of arrangements, from strangers to exes revisiting their past.
Frankly, I wasn’t initially that intrigued by the picture when I encountered it. None of the cast drew me in, and it seemed like one of countless low budget films that are made every year, all interchangeable. Plus which I saw the DVD in just about every dust bin and pawn shop in town. That can’t be good.
But I reconsidered it one day while I was away on a CD/DVD hunt in Montréal, Québec, a couple of years ago. I got a good price because I was buying multiple items and figured that the worst thing that would happen is that I would dislike it and simply resell it afterwards – losing no cash in the process.
It turns out that ‘After Sex’ is a pretty decent first effort by Amadio. It’s not genius, but I appreciated that he attempted to present a broad collection of people and that he tried to be open-minded and unjudgmental of their choices, predilections and histories; he tried to be accepting of each character.
The film presents its couples one-by-one, instead of shifting back and forth between them (as ‘Young People Fucking‘ did). There were friends with benefits, gay-curious males, first timers, gay-curious females, a long-married couple, a very butch male couple, exes cheating on their partners and strangers on a rooftop.
My favourites were all of the gay couples, because most of the other ones felt trite, déjà vu: the first gay men had a discussion about homophobia and the shame of experimenting, the lesbians had some seriously hot talk (and the best performances of the lot) and the last couple were an amusing, but sweet, odd couple.
In many ways, the film was presented like theatre, with few camera angles and little movement. There were a few sequences that moved the characters around, but only barely; at most, we’d be looking at three different locations. I kind of enjoyed the simplicity of it, because it made it slightly more intimate.
Having said that, I’m also very well aware of the fact that it was done for budgetary reasons, something that became extremely apparent from the moment that the cheesy opening credits rolled. It was also obvious that they probably couldn’t afford many takes during filming and couldn’t spend that much time editing it together.
Where I had a more difficult time was with the screenplay, which was chock full of trite dialogues and clichés. I will always argue that money shouldn’t justify poor writing; you’re either a superb writer or you’re not. So it’s hard for me to excuse this minor failing, even though Amadio’s intentions were good.
Still, for what it is, it’s decent. I wouldn’t say that ‘After Sex’ bowled me over, but I didn’t dislike it either. There were some excellent moments along the way, and it’s certainly more progressive (not more explicit – that’s not the same thing) than your average Hollywood film. It’s a valiant first effort.
Date of viewing: February 9, 2014