Wednesday, January 1, 2014

MY AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVENTURE proves one of the best rom-coms -- with some terrific sex!

Is it possible that maybe the best rom-com of last year (certainly one of the best) has gone straight to streaming? Looks that way to me, and thanks to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, you can revel in the charm, novelty and healthy, upfront sexuality of MY AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVENTURE to your heart's content and then recommend it to friends and family. As directed by Sean Garrity (shown below) and written by its star, Jonas Chernick, this movie is funny, surprising, sweet, moving -- and very sexual.

Even the plot and the manner in which our hero and heroine meet and bond make a lot of sense (something that often eludes many would-be rom-coms). From the opening moments (yes, it's a sex scene) in which what happens is some kind of first, I believe, the tone and situation are so odd but believable that the movie should have you quickly hooked. From there, things spin off and along in a kind of appropriately bizarre style that stems from character rather than from any typically weird situation (though many of the situations here are pretty weird), and this intelligent approach helps carry the movie through to its very satisfying finale and sweet denouement.

Mr. Chernick (above and below) is a Canadian actor (I don't think I've ever noticed him previously) who plays an accountant named Jordan Abrams, who's an attractive fellow but certainly nothing special. Early on, his best friend Dandak (Vik Sahay, shown at bottom, left) asks a young woman passing by to rate Jordan on a scale of one to ten. "Seven," says she, but you'll probably be thinking, Nah, he's a six, at best.

Due to what seems like a permanent falling-out with his significant other, Rachel (Sarah Manninen) -- who is shown three photos down, having an awfully good and intimate time with some folk who do not include her Jordan -- our accountant heads for a bigger city with a plan to make Rachel jealous, while boning up on his below-par sexual skills.

To that end the movie introduces us to its ace in the hole,a stripper named Julia, played by perhaps our favorite Canadian-actress-who's-little-known-down-here, Emily Hampshire, above and below. Ever since Ms Hampshire knocked us dead with her brief but unforgettable role in Snow Cake, we've been expecting her to hit one out of the park. She came close in Good Neighbors a couple of years back; she does so again, here.

No hooker with a heart of gold, Julia is still a decent human being, despite her money problems abetted by a distinct lack of organization skills, and when she and Jordan begin to bond, the connection is as amusing as it is real and quite believable. This pair makes the best pairing we've seen in movies in quite some time.

What's even more special about the film, however, is how it treats its subsidiary characters. Mr. Chernick cares for all of them, and I think you will, too. His treatment of Rachel (above and on the receiving end), in particular, is worthy of note: This woman is pretty severely problemed; even so, she's never beyond care -- or repair.

The other thing that distinguishes My Awkward Sexual Adventure is its handling of sex. This is open, free-wheeling (some male full-frontal, folk), and has quite a penchant for cunnilingus (shown above and further above) -- something I've long enjoyed giving, and have been amazed, even aroused, by the enormous pleasure this can bring to women. The movie treats all this sexuality with credibility, humor and charm, which adds immeasurably to the overall effect of this very winning work.

It's hard to believe that something this unusual and enjoyable (from Tribeca Film and runing 98 minutes) never made it into theaters across the USA. But you can view it now via Netflix streaming and Amazon Instant Video. You can also find it via DVD. (The lovely young woman in the photo above is Melissa Elias.)

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