Sex Is Comedy (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/07/2003

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins
French with English subtitles

Amusing, if self-obsessed comedy that at least proves that Catherine Breillat isn’t all Doom and Gloom after all.

French director Catherine Breillat is probably best known for her sexually explicit gloomfests Romance and A Ma Soeur, so it’s something of a shock to see Sex Is Comedy and realise that she actually has a sense of humour.

Having said that, it’s worth seeing the excellent A Ma Soeur beforehand because Sex Is Comedy is clearly based on Breillat’s (and actress Roxanne Mesquida’s) experiences of filming the explicit sex scenes in that film.

Too Cold For Hot Lovin’

Anne Parillaud (La Femme Nikita) plays Jeanne, a thinly-veiled portrait of Breillat herself. The film opens on a cold and windy European beach, with Jeanne trying to film a ‘summer’ love scene between her two actors (Gregoire Colin and Mesquida). However, the shoot is beset with problems – the two leads don’t get on, plus their teeth start chattering halfway through the scene.

Later, the action moves indoors for the filming of the movie’s pivotal, explicit sex scene and a whole new set of problems emerge, the most amusing of which involve a large prosthetic penis.

For the most part, Sex Is Comedy is an interesting, thoughtful and frequently amusing look at the difficulties involved in directing sex scenes. What lets it down is that it eventually becomes a little too much of a vanity project for Breillat herself, though it’s definitely worth watching and there are several impressive sequences.

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Content updated: 20/10/2017 02:30

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