My Awkward Sexual Adventure
Directed by Sean Garrity
Winnipeg filmmaker Sean Garrity (Lucid, Zooey & Adam) unveils his second feature of the year in “My Awkward Sexual Adventure”. The 30-something sex comedy (as opposed to Garrity’s other 2013 offering, the spine tingling 40-something housewife thriller “Blood Pressure”) isn’t just for the boys–making it not only a strong comedy, but a strong film in general.
Accountant Jordan Abrams (constant Garrity collaborator Jonas Chernick) puts his girlfriend (Sarah Manninen) to sleep during what he calls their “gentle time” and since this bores her, she breaks it off with him in the middle of his marriage proposal. He still goes on their intended trip to Toronto (his initial destination for the proposal) and crashes with his sex-crazed pal (TV’s Chuck) who intends on breaking the straight-laced accountant from his missionary funk. Eventually winding up at a strip club, he befriends Julia (Emily Hampshire, Cosmopolis) a professional stripper/amateur chef with money problems (she spends it) and makes a deal with her–he’ll help her get out of debt if she becomes his sexual Yoda (no, not a sex puppet, a sex teacher, you perv).
What naturally occurs is a comedy of errors, while Jordan pushes himself sexually (dressing in drag and being interviewed on national TV, accidentally assaulting a rub n’ tug masseuse) in an attempt to become more sexually desirable to his girlfriend (who, back home, is having orgy after orgy). Naturally, the accountant falls for the dancer (She’s sexy! She cooks! She’s into sci-fi! She’s perfect!) and emotions get blurry, but worry not! What could fall into cliche territory steers clear of it with sharp dialogue and original, likeable characters courtesy of Chernick, Hampshire, and the rest of the cast, including Jordan’s boss (Sarah Constible doing her best Sue Sylvester). Most of these supporting characters make the most of their moment on screen, like subtle Kids in the Hall background players finally getting their time in the spotlight (in a good way), providing big laughs. Side-note–if you’ve ever wanted to see your friend the local actor bare all, this is the film for you (you cheeky so-and-so) and there’s plenty of full frontal from men and women, equally.
It’s a smart, mature sex comedy that sits alongside the works of Judd Apatow and with its slick look and quick pacing, the production value is up there as well. It’s sexy, sweet, and low on gross-out (yeah, there’s a cum shot or two, but it never veers into American Pie-itory). This year has seen Garrity deliver two of his best looking films, after the handheld micro-film Zooey & Adam embraced some mini-dv minimalism. It’s as though the director needed to tear it all down to build it back up again, and the results are anything but awkward.
“My Awkward Sexual Adventure” opens nationally on April 19, and plays in Winnipeg at Silver City Polo Park.
Nicholas Friesen is a filmmaker and the Managing Editor of The Uniter. Follow him @Nicholastronaut