Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Young People Having Sex In The City

Young People F***ing

This film has been immersed in controversy since its debut at last year Toronto International Film Festival. The majority of the uproar centers around the films racy title rather than its content. Granted it is really is hard, no pun intended, to sell a title like Young People F***ing (YPF) anywhere outside of a adult movie store. Yet if you are willing to get past the blunt title you will be rewarded with a humourous look at the complexities of relationships for people in the twenties to thirties age group. Taking place over the course of one night, YPF follows five separate situations (the first date, the couple, the friends, the exes, and the roommates) all linked via the act of copulation. What separates this film from a movie one might get at your local adult video store? Well the fact that YPF is more focused on each character’s motivations than it is on the act itself. Essentially this is the younger version of television's “Sex and the City,” minus the shoe obsession. Each couple has their own baggage that supersedes the actual sex. We see what it is like for the couple struggling with communication in their marriage, the player who may not be as suave as he thinks, the former flames that pretend the spark is gone, etc. Using the six stages of intercourse (i.e. prelude, foreplay, sex, interlude, orgasm, and afterglow) as chapter guides, we see how each couple works their way through to self-discovery. As the couples commence on their journeys it quickly becomes clear that, at its heart, YPF is essentially a romantic comedy. While some of the scenes are a bit over the top, the majority of the comedy is ground in the real world. The young cast perfectly handles material that, in with lesser hands, could easily have falling of the rails. YPF is a small but refreshing hidden gem in a summer predominantly filled with mindless big budget fare.

Sex and the City

Only a few television shows have successfully made the jump to the big screen. “Sex and the City” is not one of them. Granted I am not the target demographic for this movie, but even the most hardcore fan must concede that the film pales in comparison to any episode in the shows canon. The show was a witty and intelligent look at women the plight of upper class single women in their thirties and forties. The amusing banter that once came natural on the small screen now seems forced and dull. The film pretty much has to resort to juvenile potty humor to get any life out of the script. Part of the problem is that the characters went through so much change over the course of the series; that there is not much for them to really do in the film. Which explains why half of the film feels like a product placement infomercial. There is so much designer name-dropping going on that it constantly breaks the flow of the film. Frankly the women come of completely shallow in the film, which is a huge insult to multi-layered characters that the television show built. Sure the women were fashion obsessed in the show but, for the most part, they were still grounded in reality. Well, everyone except Carrie. While Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha dealt with issues revolving around cancer, infertility, death, etc. Carrie pretty much remained in her fairy tale world where she ultimately gets her prince charming, Mr. Big. Unfortunately, the film spends the majority of its time in this world by focusing on Carrie’s pending marriage to Mr. Big. As a result, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha each get stuck with a minor subplot that really goes nowhere. Yet their subplots are convenient enough to be solved in the last ten minutes. When you step back and really look at all the storylines in the film, you quickly realize that the two-hour plus film is really much ado about nothing. It is just an excuse to get the women on screen again and sell some products. While it is great that that four women back together again; a television reunion would have sufficed. At least there their issues would seem graver than they actually are.

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