Film Sex Fail

The Room

The smoke from the explosion clears, debris everywhere, somewhere amid the devastation a rugged hero rises to his feet, wiping a little blood from the corner of his mouth. The terrorists got away this time, but they paid the price for messing with the wrong guy. Seconds later our hero reaches down and pulls up the bruised-but-supple form of the President’s daughter. She throws her long hair from side-to-side, clears her head, and locks gazes with her glistening saviour as they pull closer. The mood is absolutely electric, there is no avoiding it now. You are about to sit through another incredibly boring, overly-long, and laughably simulated sex scene that you will forget the moment the screen fades to black.

Sex scenes have arguably become the most tedious motif in mainstream cinema since the obligatory “establishing aerial shot of the city” during opening credits. They were once the object of considerable scandal, conservative outrage, and near-limitless source of excitement to generations of adolescents, but today it seems that movie sex (and indeed TV sex) is about as compelling as reading a creased copy of O Magazine at the dentist’s office. They have become so banal and obligatory now that they have lost almost all of their allure to viewers, without even mentioning the odd atmosphere that it creates the moment there is another person in the room (Never a better time to make that run to the fridge for another beer).

It’s an different story if your film is about sex or intimacy; you’re still not guaranteed a sure thing, but the emphasis on heavy petting in these circumstances is kind of expected, and it can work in the hands of a mature storyteller. There might even be something fundamentally important to communicate to the audience with a tastefully depicted love-making scene, but again these things most often work best when left to professionals. So why do a majority of films still rely on this exhausted convention? There must be a more interesting way for filmmakers to prove that they are edgy and daring.

If adding violence, drama, or suspense to your script demands serious contemplation, if you must consider every ingredient to make sure that they are being used to promote a better story, then consider sex scenes doubly-important to evaluate, unless you’re these guys.

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