Sex Stories Ovidie & Jack Tyler

Sex Stories Ovidie & Jack Tyler
In the press release for this dreadful little French "he said, she said," they compare its avant-garde inclusion of un-simulated sex scenes to Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs and John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus. Let me be clear about this, Sex Stories is nothing like these films and, in fact, even comparing this disastrously assembled crap to either film is almost as ridiculous as Madonna's assertion that Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut inspired her direction of Filth and Wisdom. If anything, this cheap titillation seems more like that video with the Time-Life music that Sharon Cherski leant to Angela in My So-Called Life. Basically, the plot follows two separate dinner parties, one with four women and the other with four men, each respective members of a heterosexual coupling. While the notion of four women sitting around, drinking wine and talking about their sex lives isn't particularly far-fetched, even if they all come off as insipid, Cosmo-reading dip-shits, the setup of four men cooking for each other and dishing about their relationships is as awkward in execution as it is in conception. Furthermore, none of these people act like real characters, since all they do is take turns describing a sexual experience, which we then watch in vivid detail with a lazy electronic score, unflattering lighting and the joys of the old in-out-in-out with added wet slapping noises. Now, if I am to interpret this as a work of art, I have to question the necessity of lingering static shots and close-up choices. Normally an extended take of a character performing a repetitive task would represent their state of mind, or daily routine, or reveal some insecurity through their awkwardness or discomfort. I can't say that watching a woman with her legs open in reverse-sitting-doggie position while a penis slips in and out of her develops much beyond the obvious after a minute or two. I get that they both seem content, as they're moaning, but I can't say that I get a better sense of the characters and their internal struggles and values. Similarly, when a character begins to describe his attempts at anal sex with his wife, and the film immediately cuts to a close up of him tonguing and fingering her shitter, I have to wonder if this image really added anything to the narrative, as I probably could have guessed what they were doing without the explicit close-up. Maybe the visual of her asshole represents something profound that I'm missing, but I doubt it. I also have to question the logic of certain scenes. For example, when the women start talking about orgasms, one of them pulls out about 40 dildos and vibrators. Another woman then takes a vibrator to the washroom and proceeds to climax while everyone else sits in the living room drinking wine. Maybe the women in my life are different from those in France, but sharing sex toys and openly masturbating in a friend's washroom seems like a strange and unlikely thing to do. I also suspect I could have figured out what she was doing and how she felt about it without watching a gynaecological close-up for a good minute. Considering all of these leaps in plausibility, the terrible writing and the atrocious acting, it's safe to say that Sex Stories is a complete failure as a legitimate film, and what's more, it's tedious and boring. No supplements are included with the DVD, so I guess we'll never know why all of the condoms in the production were pink. (Breaking Glass)