SEX! Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about sex scenes in movies

Were it up to me, I wouldn’t be talking about this (oh wait…), but as I write my screenplay, I find myself writing in a sex scene. Why? Because it makes sense – it moves the plot forward, it reveals character and touches upon a few key themes. And you know how the saying goes: “if you can’t fight it, write it.”

The filmmakers I admire approach sex with a certain class, but for the most part – porno and erotica aside – sex is a contrived component to any film. When I say sex, I don’t mean the moments leading up to or the moments following intercourse, I’m talking about “the during”. You know, that part in the film when you shift uncomfortably or sit really stiff and uptight, gripping a bit too tightly to the armrest, maybe your mouth is slightly agape and your stare is unwavering – yeah, that moment. Most of the time, it’s unnecessary to show “the during”, but it sells, dammit!

Here’s a few examples of sex in film (sorry, no photos of boobs):

1) The Notebook (2004)

Okay. I haven’t seen this movie, but I thought it would be a good movie to use as an example of what Hollywood standards of romance and love making are: a tender, loving, beautiful manifestation. There is the argument that these kinds of movies set unrealistic standards of romance for young men and women alike, particularly in regards to what a relationship should look like, but I digress…

2) Shadows (1959)

I bring John Cassavetes’ film “Shadows” into this compilation in budding contrast with his son, Nick Cassavetes’ “The Notebook.” We don’t see “the during” in Cassavetes’ films. In “Shadows”, we see the after. It’s Lelia’s first time and she says, “I never thought it would be so awful.”

3) Y Tu Mamá Tambien (2001)

Sex is all over this movie. Is it excessive? No. Pointless? No…Ugly? Yes! In the sense that the sex is raw and unattractive and awkward yet muy caliente.

4) Showgirls (1995)

The pool scene! C’mon! If you ever questioned the satirical integrity of this movie, I am sure the over-the-top pool sex will sway you. I’m with Verhoeven on this one – it’s a fictionalized slice of Vegas sleaze, the sex scene better be surreal!

5) Team America: World Police (2004)

This movie pokes fun at…everything! And everyone! Especially at the 1980s action flick motif of adding a sex scene in a film that doesn’t need one. I think puppets are the perfect vehicle to demonstrate the artifice of Hollywood sex scenes.

Oh, right…I meant “love scenes”…


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