Synopsis: In this frank but funny romantic comedy, Dora–a well-educated, sophisticated woman who works in theater–becomes fed up with men after she discovers her fiancé is already married. Dora decides she wants a child but will raise it as a single mother rather than put up with the shenanigans of men. She embarks on a series of sexual encounters in order to get pregnant but finds the world of relationships is not that simple.
The smart dialogue and pleasant performances by Judit Schell and Sandor Csanyi (Kontroll) helped make this film a smash hit in Hungary.
eyelights: the main cast. its basic premise. the setting.
eyesores: the stereotypes. its clichéd ending.
“Honey, if all the women were waiting for the normal guy, the human race would long be extinct.”
‘Csak szex és más semmi’ is a 2005 sex comedy from Hungary. I stumbled upon it quite by chance, while purchasing another DVD online; I checked to see what else the seller was offering and this was one of the titles. With a low asking price, I felt that it was a good gamble.
And it paid off: ‘Csak szex és más semmi’ is a fun little film about a 30-something playwright who is eager to have a child but is finding it difficult meeting the right guy. Undaunted, she decides to do it by herself – and, in trying to pregnant, she falls in love.
‘Csak szex és más semmi’ is nothing especially remarkable; it’s pretty much your average sex comedy post-‘Sex and the City’: it’s from a woman’s perspective and it pokes fun at heterosexual sex in the modern age. What makes it fresh is its cultural perspective.
I liked seeing this type of comedy set in Hungary and in Hungarian; it’s a rare treat and it switches things up. I also liked the journey they took us on; unlike most sex comedies, it wasn’t about finding a man, it was about our protagonist, Dóra, forging her own path.
I’m always a fan of stories that find women doing their own thing, instead of being dependent on men to make them complete; the further we get from the traditional mode of women being the servants of men, being their housewives, their assistants, …etc., the better.
The cast is as good as it gets for this type of film and I quite liked the dynamic between Judit Schell, who plays Dóra, and Kata Dobó, who plays Zsófi, her promiscuous friend. They were a good support system for each other even when they disagreed with each other’s choices.
The men were a little less noteworthy, with Zoltán Seress being the better of the bunch, as Péter, Dóra’s friend, a composer who is working on the play with her. Even though his character is a bit of a clutz, he makes him quite endearing, enough that you root for the guy.
But all the other men, including our male lead, Sándor Csányi (as Tamás, who plays Valmont in Dóra’s adaptation of ‘Dangerous Liaisons’), are caricatures, with all of them being obsessed with bedding women at all cost; they don’t have much redeeming value except for comic relief.
And this is one thing that I found unfortunate about the picture: it dabbles in a few stereotypes as well as portraying a very macho environment in which men constantly make suggestive comments to the women around them. In real life it would be considered sexual harassment.
But, otherwise, if one tolerates this distasteful perspective, and can overlook its clichéd, predictable ending, ‘Csak szex és más semmi’ is certainly a worthy addition in the genre: it’s an enjoyable and mildly sexy picture that plays the game as well as any Hollywood effort.
And, in some ways, it does it better.
Date of viewing: January 21, 2016