The Cabin Movie

Synopsis: THE CABIN MOVIE is a darkly comic look at the nature of desire, the value of monogamy, and the definition of sexuality when a group of friends travel to a secluded cabin in an attempt to revitalize their lives through bizarre games of sexual dysfunction. Katherine, an unemployed housewife who hasn’’t had sex in a year is intent on getting some with or without her repressed husband Mark’s involvement. Jason, a happy-go-lucky cool guy, has shown up without his long-term girlfriend, but with Ginny, a party girl he met the previous weekend. Ken and Maria, a stable common-law couple, are caught in the middle somewhere between discovery and sexual panic as they try to keep things on track while wrestling with issues of their own. By the end of the night, all their relationships will be called into question and pushed to the breaking point.

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The Cabin Movie 7.75

eyelights: its concept. its cast.
eyesores: its tensions. its characters.

“It’s just sex.”

Have you ever considered group sex? You know, for whatever reason: to spice things up, to open up your relationship, because you’re horny, because you can, …etc.? If so, how would you go about it? Would you go to a swing lounge? Would you join a private group of swingers? Would you organize that with people you know, friends maybe? Would you want anonymity? Or would you want to do this privately?

Personally, I’ve never really considered the thought. I mean, sex is a lot of work already with one person: to me, 2-3 hours per person multiplied by dozens equals exhausting. Plus which sex for me is about intimacy, so I at least have to feel some sort of connection with my partner; complete strangers just don’t do it for me, no matter how lovely. Plus there’s the heightened risk of disease. It’s just not for me.

But whatever works. And kudos to those who can make this work for them; lucky them.

In the 2005 motion picture ‘The Cabin Movie’, longtime friends Maria, Ken, Jason, Jenny, Katherine and Mark give it a try: they’ve decided to spend a weekend at Ken and Maria’s British Columbia cabin getting it on with each other. Though it’s the hosts’ idea, they all have their reasons for participating – and not everyone is fully on board. Very soon, tensions grow and their free-for-all unravels completely.

The picture is an interesting mélange of character dynamics, as we explore each couple’s relationship as well as the various friendship configurations within the group. What is lying under the surface between Maria and Ken? Why is Mark so uptight and tense? Why is Katherine so resentful of Mark? How will the presence of Jenny, a complete stranger, affect the group? And will any of them get it on?

Frankly, though I really enjoyed watching the energy shift around the cabin, and I liked the cast, I can’t say that I was especially fond of the characters themselves: many of them seemed a bit immature to me, despite their openness with one another. The guys, in particular, were really naive, if not airheads with little signs of depth. And Mark and Katherine were ignoring their very serious issues.

Plus which Mark acted like a real @$$hole. Though he was uncomfortable with the whole scene, he didn’t discuss it with Katherine before agreeing to go. Instead, he spoiled the fun for everyone by refusing to participate, ignoring Katherine, having a fit when Katherine decided to play the group’s games and even getting aggressive with Jenny, the party girl. He shouted, argued and even got in fights.

Like I said, a real @$$hole.

Though it makes sense contextually, as do the various outcomes of this wannabe sex party, it’s not exactly a good time – even when some of them contrive to have sex. It’s just not working. I’m not surprised, having seen a couple of games of “Truth or Dare” myself: there are always the more eager and active participants and the wallflowers, those who would want to join in but can’t bring themselves to.

It can be awkward.

I still remember playing a game that a friend and I had invented one evening, out of boredom (I obviously didn’t have a VCR!). She and I had met at a “Truth or Dare” night and we decided that we wanted to put a spin on it, so we created a series of cards with dares on them and each of them had points. I don’t remember what you got if you ended up with the most points, but I’m sure that it was sex.

Anyway, the number of participants wasn’t very high, but it was naturally skewed in favour of the girls (i.e. they had more guys to choose from). And some of the girls weren’t entirely into it; I seem to remember one of them was doing it because her boyfriend wanted to. So the balance was off and the evening ended up being a disappointment for pretty much everyone involved. We only played once.

Sex can be much more complicated than we’d imagine by looking at the media, which suggest that you can just !@#$ and go, like going to a fast food drive-thru. But it’s messier than that, once you get past your hormones: people have feelings, different intentions, different needs, different sexual responses, so that sex isn’t as easy as “plug and play” – especially as you develop your desires with time.

‘The Cabin Movie’ is a perfect example of that. Though the same scenario could have been played with more compelling characters, the idea is still fascinating, the performances are solid, and the outcome is realistic. It can be fun, funny, awkward and even frustrating, just like sex can be. Because, no matter what some people think, in most cases, sex isn’t just sex – it’s an expression of something deeper.

It’s not so easily put in a box.

Story: 8.0
Acting: 7.5
Performances: 7.5

Nudity: 4.0
Sexiness: 2.0
Explicitness: 4.0

Date of viewing: March 20, 2017

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