Sex, Love and Videotape

On movie sex and movie love...

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The Apartment

  • YEAR: 1960
  • DIRECTOR: Billy Wilder
  • KEY ACTORS: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine
  • CERTIFICATE: PG
  • IMDB SCORE: 8.3
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 93%

SEX SCORE: 4/5

✔️ This passes the Bechdel Test, although the site I use to check described its passing as ‘by accident!’
✔️ And it is definitely rewatchable. I’d even say that I’ve not watched it enough!
✔️ Just like Mad Men, it did inspire fantasies of being wined and dined in 1960s New York but they are probably not very healthy fantasies…
❌ But I didn’t want to fuck the cast. Although Lemmon is less sycophantic and more likeable by the end, he’s still not for me!
✔️ I thought a lot about the question of sex positivity and I’ve decided that it is sex positive. Even within the constraints of the Hays Code, the women are having consensually fun sex lives and any consequences are blamed on the toxic men rather than the sexually liberated women!

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On the Basis of Sex

  • YEAR: 2018
  • DIRECTOR: Mimi Leder
  • KEY ACTORS: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer
  • CERTIFICATE: 12
  • IMDB SCORE: 7.1
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 73%

SEX SCORE: 4/5

✔️ Of course this passes the Bechdel Test! It’s all about women’s equality and the women talk a lot about social change.
✔️ The rewatchable question is difficult. I think it is rewatchable as I’d like to see it again and would stop if I saw it on TV, but I’m not rushing out to see it again…
✔️ I do want to fuck the cast. Hammer is beautiful and Jones is impressive, and it’s a powerful combination!
❌ But it didn’t inspire fantasies. I was envious of her 1950s lingerie but that doesn’t really count…!
✔️ Is it sex positive? This is a tough one as the act of sex isn’t really discussed but it is so positive about gender and women’s rights that I want to give it the mark!

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The American President

  • YEAR: 1995
  • DIRECTOR: Rob Reiner
  • KEY ACTORS: Michael Douglas, Annette Bening
  • CERTIFICATE: 15
  • IMDB SCORE: 6.8
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 91%

SEX SCORE: 2/5

✔️ This does pass the Bechdel Test, but it’s one of those passes where the exact conversations that qualify can be listed so it’s not a strong pass!
❌ But I don’t think it’s rewatchable. I don’t mean that it’s not good – I enjoyed it a lot – but I don’t think you could pick it up halfway through and watch from there, and I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to see it again
❌ And I don’t want to fuck the cast. Sorry Michael Douglas, you’re still not for me, although this is much closer than any other movie you’ve done!
✔️ It is sex positive! The plot essentially revolves around whether it is appropriate for the President to have a girlfriend, but any opposition to the relationship is appropriately judged!
❌ It didn’t inspire fantasies so is only getting 2/5, which feels low for a movie I enjoyed. But I simply don’t want to fuck the American President – either in real life (MY EYES!), in the movie or in fantasy.

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The Babadook

  • YEAR: 2014
  • DIRECTOR: Jennifer Kent
  • KEY ACTORS: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman
  • CERTIFICATE: 15
  • IMDB SCORE: 7.8
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 98%

SEX SCORE: 2/5

✔️ This movie does pass the Bechdel test!
❌ But it is absolutely not rewatchable. Brilliant but just too traumatic to ever watch again!
❌ And it doesn’t really fit well with my sex score as I don’t want to fuck the cast
❌ …and didn’t have any fantasies because of this film so it’s score is lower than it deserves!
✔️ But I will give it a mark for being sex positive. Showing female masturbation is always a good way to get a mark here, and the fact that it’s shown as such an important – and interrupted – aspect of Amelia’s well-being is great.

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The Lost Boys

  • YEAR: 1987
  • DIRECTOR: Joel Schumacher
  • KEY ACTORS: Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman
  • CERTIFICATE: 15
  • IMDB SCORE: 7.3
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 79%

SEX SCORE: 2.5/5

❌ For the first time in a while, this is a film that fails the Bechdel Test. The female characters don’t even share a scene, let alone speak!
✔️ And it is definitely rewatchable. Reportedly the ‘most Eighties film ever made,’ it is hugely entertaining and easy to watch again and again!
✔️ The cast are also definitely fuckable. Yes, again, very 80s, but also – hot.
❓I’m going to give it half a mark for inspiring fantasies. This movie didn’t inspire fantasies for me, but it is the source of inspiration for another vampire that did inspire a lot of fantasies!
❌ But it’s not sex positive. Instead, sex is a metaphor for danger and risk-taking, which isn’t so great…

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Rosemary’s Baby

  • YEAR: 1968
  • DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski
  • KEY ACTORS: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmur
  • CERTIFICATE: 18
  • IMBD SCORE: 8.0
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 96%

SEX SCORE: 2/5

✔️ It passes the Bechdel Test without any trouble!
❌ But it didn’t inspire fantasies…
❌ …I don’t want to fuck the cast, although Mia Farrow’s pixie cut is iconic…
❌ …and it’s really not sex positive!!
✔️ I will give it a mark for being rewatchable. It’s horrifying and disturbing and traumatic and terrifying, but it is enthralling.

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The Craft

  • YEAR: 1996
  • DIRECTOR: Andrew Fleming
  • KEY ACTORS: Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Rachel True
  • CERTIFICATE: 15
  • IMDB SCORE: 6.4
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 55%

SEX SCORE: 2.5/5

✔️ Of course, this passes the Bechdel Test!

✔️ And as much as I was scared of it as a teenager, this really is rewatchable.

❌ But I don’t want to fuck the cast. In many ways, I wanted to be the cast, but I didn’t want to fuck them.

❓ Did it inspire fantasies? I think I will give it a half a mark as there is so much that I wanted, but I didn’t want it for sexual reasons. Well, not directly anyway!

❌ And it isn’t sex positive. Sex is a source of trauma and conflict for all of the girls, and I don’t get the impression that any of them have had a positive sexual experience.

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Ginger Snaps

  • YEAR: 2000
  • DIRECTOR: John Fawcett
  • KEY ACTORS: Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle
  • CERTIFICATE: 18
  • IMDB SCORE: 6.8
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 89%

SEX SCORE: 3/5

✔️ This definitely passes the Bechdel Test! The two girls talk about a lot that has nothing to do with men!
❌ But it didn’t inspire fantasies. The sex is a bit teenage and a bit, well, violent. There is something inspiring about Ginger, but not as a sexual fantasy…
❌ And I don’t want to fuck the cast. The men aren’t that appealing and, while Ginger is hot, she’s not for me.
✔️ Despite the violence, it is sex positive. It’s a coming of age film like no others, showing the power of women who are in control of their sexuality!
✔️ And it is rewatchable. It’s bizarre and violent and clearly low budget, but it is enthralling!

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Grease 2

  • YEAR: 1982
  • DIRECTOR: Patricia Birch
  • KEY ACTORS: Michelle Pfeiffer, Maxwell Caulfield
  • CERTIFICATE: PG
  • IMDB SCORE: 4.4
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 38%

SEX SCORE: 4/5

✔️ It is absolutely rewatchable. I’ve not watched it as much as I have the original but it is no less addictive!
✔️ And it easily passes the Bechdel Test.
❌ But it is not sex positive! They are critical of virginity, the woman aren’t satisfied, there’s a lot of casual sexual harassment and the gender politics just aren’t good…
✔️ I do think the cast are fuckable – Michelle Pfeiffer is super hot and Michael looks really good, even if he shouldn’t speak!
❌ But it didn’t inspire fantasies. Not sexual ones anyway! I’d wanted to be as cool as Stephanie but I wasn’t that interested in reproducing the romantic plot line.

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The Breakfast Club

  • YEAR: 1985
  • DIRECTOR: John Hughes
  • KEY ACTORS: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy
  • CERTIFICATE: 15
  • IMDB SCORE: 7.9
  • ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 89%

SEX SCORE: 2/5

✔️ Despite what I’m about to write, Breakfast Club is rewatchable – I’ve seen it many times and would watch it again!

✔️ And it does pass the Bechdel Test. With the film essentially taking place in one room with women playing two of the main characters, I’d have worried if it failed!

❌ I don’t want to fuck the cast though. The 80s stereotypes are too strong and not my thing…

❌ And it did not inspire any sexual fantasies. School was a strange time for me and not one full of sex, and this is too reminiscent of that uncertainty.

❌ I nearly gave this a mark for sex positivity as I do appreciate its sensitive handling of teenage discussion on virginity and how woman can’t win when it comes to sex, but there’s too much casual misogyny and too much actual sexual assault so it really can’t be sex positive.

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