The Movie Waffler New Release Review - THE END OF SEX | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - THE END OF SEX

New Release Review - THE END OF SEX
A couple embarks on a series of adventures in an attempt to revive their sex life.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Sean Garrity

Starring: Emily Hampshire, Jonas Chernick, Lily Gao, Melanie Scrofano, Gray Powell

The End of Sex poster

The End of Sex is the sort of raunchy rom-com Judd Apatow might make if he ever allowed an editor to do their job. Unlike Apatow's rambling films, which quickly lose sight of their high concept setups and devolve into tedious improv workshops, director Sean Garrity's comedy is well-paced, getting in and out of its various comic set-pieces without overstaying its welcome.

The End of Sex review

The script was penned by Jonas Chernick, who also plays the film's leading man, Josh, husband to Emma (the Tina Fey-esque Emily Hampshire) and devoted father to a pair of young daughters. When Josh and Emma pack their sprogs off to camp for a week, the former is apprehensive about untying his apron strings and letting his kids free, while the latter sees it as a long overdue chance to revitalise their sex life. It's so long since Josh and Emma got hot and heavy that they find they've lost the spark, with an attempt at sex ending with both faking orgasms.

Worried that this might be a sign of bigger problems, Josh and Emma spend the rest of the week trying to resuscitate their comatose sex life through a series of adventures. Emma invites a bisexual co-worker, Wendy (Melanie Scrofano), for a threesome, which results in one of the three playing gooseberry (no prizes for guessing who). The pair visit a sex club, leading to a very uncomfortable encounter with a family member. They even turn to drugs in a vignette which lapses into dizzying camerawork clichés.

The End of Sex review

As Josh and Emma struggle to physically connect, they each begin to consider other offers. Emma is pursued by Marlon (Gray Powell), an old college classmate who has no filter when it comes to telling her how she fuelled his dorm room fantasies. Josh confides in Kelly (Lily Gao), a hip young colleague whose mocking of his uptight ways may conceal a secret crush.

There's nothing here that you haven't seen in a dozen other sex comedies, and some of the targets of comedy depressingly suggest that the Anglo-Saxon world is still as uptight about sex as it was 50 years ago. Some of the scenarios here are essentially bits from the likes of the 1970s Confessions series rejigged for a progressive-in-theory-but-as-conservative-as-their-grandparents-in-practice millennial audience, which makes them all too predictable. But what keeps us invested in the plight of Josh and Emma is how likeable and relatably weighed down by expectations the pair are. Chernick and Hampshire have a natural chemistry that makes us root for their characters, and there's something sweet if old-fashioned about the film's message that some parents get more fulfilment from raising kids than making babies.

The End of Sex review

That said, there's something regressive about how the film pokes fun at unconventional lifestyles in order to strengthen the marriage of a very middle class straight couple. The film's two gay characters – Wendy and Kelly – take up the dated roles of the predatory lesbian and the sexually promiscuous bisexual woman who really just wants a loving relationship with a steady if staid man. Scrofano can't do much with her broad character, but Gao gives the film's standout performance – I found her an utterly compelling presence, despite frowning at the arc of her character.

The End of Sex is on UK/ROI VOD from July 3rd.

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