Friday, August 10, 2012

Sex and Death 101 (2007) [R] ***-

Roderick Rod Blank (Simon Baker), a handsome executive with the Swallows fast food company, receives an anonymous email containing a list of all of his past sex partners in chronological order, a list that could not have been known to another human being. The thirty-first name on the list is that of Fiona (Julie Bowen), his lovely fiancee, the girl whom Rod had assumed would be his mate for life and his last sex partner. But, incredibly enough, the list contains seventy names after Fiona's. Despite Rod's attempts to be faithful to Fiona, one by one the beautiful women on his list throw themselves at him. Fiona correctly interprets Rod's far-away look and inattentive behavior as that of a man who has lost interest, and she breaks off their engagement.

Then Rod meets Alpha, Beta and Fred, three attendants of the Oracle, a supercomputing seer into the future. The three men explain that the Oracle emailed the list to him, and they counsel Rod to burn or bury it. But Rod is becoming addicted to the thrill of the chase, and his curiosity about the women in his future compels him to dig up the list after he has buried it. And then Rod notices that the last name on his list is that of Gillian de Raisx (Winona Ryder) also known as Death Nell, a man-hating woman who has embarked on a city-wide reign of terror, seducing men and then leaving them in deep comas, with dark poetry spray-painted on their ceilings and walls. 

What will happen when Rod and Gillian finally do meet? This is a raunchy black comedy about life, death, fate and free will that manages to partially redeem itself in the last ten minutes with an upbeat, life-affirming final plot twist. However, the low road we must take to get there panders to the most puerile of male sex fantasies, and is not worthy of the acting talents of Simon Baker, Winona Ryder, Julie Bowen and the supporting cast. Be prepared for the liberal use of the F-word and plenty of gratuitous female nudity. If you enjoy films like About AdamBedazzled or Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, you might be able to tolerate Sex and Death 101.  

Labels: comedy, drama, romance   
Internet Movie Database   
Metacritic 24/100  
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=43, viewers=60)          

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