No drugs or rock 'n' roll, just...
Love and Sex
Review by Ross Anthony

Given leeway to write a column for Monica Magazine, Kate chooses the only aspect of "relationships" for which she feels knowledgeable, "Oral sex as a cure for depression." A choice that gets her fired. However, Monica, none-to-happy to be associated with that kind of text, but in need of words, temporarily unfires Kate to give her a shot at composing a happier peppier re-write. Kate, pulls out the tape recorder, sighs with exhaustion, and starts reliving her romantic journey through dating and boyfriends from grade school to present (late-thirties). The product of which comprises this frank and delightfully candid film.

Kate, often insecure about her ability to maintain relationships, seems to attempt to compensate with occasional blunt discourses on sex. The film itself is accentuated perfectly with ripe buds of humor. After a misunderstanding with a stranger, he and Kate sit in the back seat of a squad car. The stranger smiles, "You got any plans for dinner? I mean, after we make bail."

The picture opens with a seventh grade Kate kissing a boy behind a tree. This snippet of the 70's is well recreated with both child actors doing such a good job, that you'll be slightly disappointed to have to say goodbye to them so soon. But the late-thirties Kate performs respectably and her more-often-boyfriend-than-not, Jon Favreau is remarkable. While I was toying with the idea that a Julia Roberts might have made this picture A+ material; I simply could not think of a more appropriate male lead than Favreau. (Albert Brooks did come to mind, but I dismissed the thought.)

Other well-produced moments: kissing in the video store, a black screen break up, dueling make-outs, and Favreau's big express all feelings scene .. the camera stays on Kate as we hear Favreau over the top angry with love. (My suggestion ... maintain attention on Kate for the remainder of that scene.)

Kate's intermittent voice-overs provide warm reflective segues between love affairs. "Love is a minefield. You take a step ... blow up. Then stupidly take another step and blow up again. But we'd still rather blow up than be single."

A lovely blend of laughs, love and yes, open discussion of sex; this film is a joy and an easy recommendation.

  • Love and Sex. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Famke Janssen, Jon Favreau, Noah Emmerich, Ann Magnuson, Cheri Oteri.
  • Written and Directed by Valerie Breiman.
  • Produced by Martin Barab, Michael Barab, Timothy Scott Bogart and Brad Wyman
  • And released by Lions Gate.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:05:14 PDT