US, 2007, 78 minutes, Colour.
Mila Kunis, Jane Seymour, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Taryn Manning, Marc Blucas, Zoe Saldana.
Directed by Eric Amadio.
After Sex is a very brief anthology of attitudes towards sexuality, love, intimacy, vulnerability, frustration. The episodes are perhaps too short to be particularly telling. Audiences will agree with some of the situations portrayed and disagree with others, depending on attitudes, ethical stances, sexual orientations. The film tries to offer something on all these combinations.
The cast is a mixed bag, some episodes being much more persuasive than others. However, for those interested in discussions on the particular areas of sexuality and intimacy, some of the episodes could be useful.
1. The title, expectations, the credits and their tone?
2. Short stories, basic conversations? The cumulative effect?
3. The domestic stories, going beyond homes and families and relationships?
4. The episode with Christopher and Leslie: sexual encounter, sexist attitudes, issues of equality, the demands for no dependence? Christopher, language, friends who are open in their behaviour? No commitment? The conversation, demands, banter, ego? Insecurities? Love and whether it is negotiable or not? The guessing game? Deep self-giving and the partner allowing for the self-giving?
5. The story of Freddy and Jay? Gay or not, discussion of issues of orientation, the claim that the issue is ethically neutral? Talking people down from the ledge conversation? Macho attitudes, homophobia? The alienated gay, power over the others? Suicide issues? Remembering the past, the young student experimenting? Not catering to others’ opinions? The second attempt?
The story of Kristy and Sam? Bed, young, the quick encounter, the first time, the weirdness, the sexual behaviour and throwing up? The high school background? The mother, her concern, talking to her daughter, her reaction to the young man? The mother having the last word?
6. The story of Nikki and Kat? Girls, the dynamic, not falling in love, fun? The outside sequences? Discussing relationships, orientations? Crude and abrasive attitudes, speaking directly? Nikki not being nice to anyone? Kat and the admission of physical intimacy?
7. The story of Trudy and Gene? The old couple in the park, asking questions, black and white issues? The possibilities of changing the past? The mountain road, being jokey and their reminiscing, the rather permissive past where there were no rules, no jealousies? What their kids would think about their past? The kids be ashamed or not? Marriage for thirty-five years to forty?
8. The story of Neil and Bob? The room, Bob and the ball, the mirror, the car, talking in the car, bitch and butch? People’s expectations? R2D2…?
9. The story of David and Jordy? The motel, emotion unavailable? Analysis, break-up? Issues of trust? The Lothario type? The question why he and the partner were there?
10. The story of Marco and Alanna? The sexual encounter, asking names? Her story about Little Rock, Spain? The Spider Club? LA Express? The story of the hooker? The gun, locked in the bathroom? Clean or not? The questions about the past? The girl making up the story and leading the man on? The response of the Hispanic macho type?
11. Interest in the stories, their values and stances? Entertaining? Useful for reflection and discussion?