- YEAR: 1990
- DIRECTOR: Garry Marshall
- KEY ACTORS: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Laura San Giacomo
- CERTIFICATE: 15
- IMDB SCORE: 7.1
- ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 65%
SEX SCORE: 5/5
✔️ This passes the Bechdel Test easily, but there are really only two named female characters so it’s good that they talk about a lot!
✔️ And it is rewatchable. It’s a classic for a reason!
✔️ I also would fuck the cast. Both Gere and Roberts are at their hotness peaks and are stunningly beautiful!
✔️ It probably did inspire fantasies too. Sex without kissing, sex on a piano, being so overtly and overwhelming desired…
✔️ And I think it is sex positive! It’s not a straightforward decision – sex is tangled inextricably with love but it sends good safe sex messages, it understands consent, and it shows that sex is pretty joyful and therapeutic!
- YEAR: 2001
- Director: Baz Luhrmann
- KEY ACTORS: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor
- CERTIFICATE: 12
- IMDB SCORE: 7.6
- ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 76%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ It does pass the Bechdel test…but only just! Satine has a conversation with Marie, her dresser, about being a star. That’s it.
✔️ And, oh my gosh, I want to fuck the cast! It’s difficult to argue whether this is either of McGregor or Kidman’s peak hotness because they have just had so many peaks but, damn, they are beautiful in this movie…
✔️ It’s also incredibly rewatchable. If I come across it on TV, I will always watch it, no matter where in the movie we are.
✔️ And Moulin Rouge did inspire fantasies. Not of sex work but of being that beautiful, that glamorous, that sexually confident…
❌ But it is not sex positive! It’s not sex worker positive, it’s not feminist, and it values virginity much too highly!
As always, this contains spoilers so watch the film before you read on…
STREAMING: Amazon Prime (rent £2.49, buy £6.99), YouTube (from £3.99). For a full list of streaming options, check out JustWatch.com
- YEAR: 2004
- DIRECTOR: Mike Nichols
- KEY ACTORS: Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, Jude Law, Julia Roberts
- CERTIFICATE: 15
- IMDB SCORE: 7.2
- ROTTEN TOMATO SCORE: 68%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ Yes. The cast are fuckable. All of them. Every single character. They’re awful but I would fuck them all without hesitation!
✔️And it definitely inspired fantasies – fantasies of love at first sight, fantasies of being wanted so intensely and destructively
✔️ Closer passes the Bechdel Test when Alice and Anna talk about photography at the beginning of the film.
✔️ I also think it’s rewatchable. It’s a stunning, enthralling and breathtaking film!
❌ But is it sex positive? Sadly, I can’t give Closer the mark. Sex is used as a weapon too many times…
DIRECTOR: Spike Jonze
KEY ACTORS: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson
IMDB SCORE: 8.0
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 95%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
❌ Sadly, this film fails the Bechdel Test. Even without asking if the OS have a gender, none of the named female presenting characters talk about anything but men.
✔️ It did inspire fantasies of what our sexual future could be and how technology could influence the sexual relationships we might have. Also fantasies of super hot phone sex!
✔️ And I do think it is sex positive. The science fiction setting allows stigma, personhood, sexual agency and consent to be examined and it does a pretty good job of it. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good!
✔️ It raises so many questions in my mind that I do think it is rewatchable.
✔️ And I would fuck the cast. Not Joaquin Phoenix so much but I’d love to have phone sex with Samantha. Scarlett Johansson has such a deeply sexy voice after all!
DIRECTOR: Paul Verhoeven (as Jan Jensen)
KEY ACTORS: Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon, Kyle MacLachlan
IMDB SCORE: 4.8
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 22%
SEX SCORE: 1.5/5
✔️ Showgirls does pass the Bechdel Test with lots of talk about dancing and work between the many named female characters
❌ But it’s not rewatchable. Regardless of how interesting and clever I think this film is, it is objectively bad.
❌ Extraordinarily considering how beautiful and naked they are, I don’t want to fuck the cast. They’re prickly and spiky and too too much to be fuckable
❌ And the hostile atmosphere meant that this movie didn’t inspire fantasies.
❓But is it sex positive? I’m going to leave this as a half mark of a maybe. I found it hard to decide as, superficially, it is not sex positive. There’s ample evidence of abuse, manipulation and extortion, but it never glamorises that attitude and does not shy away from showing how awful it is. It also approaches sexual taboos like period sex without any fuss. So…maybe?
DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick
KEY ACTORS: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman
IMDB SCORE: 7.4
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 75%
SEX SCORE: 3/5
✔️Definitely want to fuck the cast – this film came out at my peak Tom Cruise loving age (I was 14) so although I didn’t see it for a few years, I still want to fuck 1999 Tom Cruise for nostalgic reasons if nothing else. And I don’t want Nicole Kidman as much as I want her in Moulin Rouge but she’s still looking ridiculously hot!
✔️ It does pass the Bechdel test (Alice talks to a named babysitter, Ros, about their daughter) but I am getting a little disheartened at how many films barely scrape over this low bar.
✔️ Whether or not it was the point of the film, this is where my curiosity about sex parties started so yes, it certainly inspired fantasies!
❌ Not really rewatchable – it’s SO long and complicated that it’s not a film I’d rush out to see again.
❌ I don’t think this film is sex positive – it’s a cautionary tale about jealousy and excess where sex is a punishment and a temptation, not a delight. Also, it uses the f-word, and I don’t mean fuck, so no…
DIRECTOR: Gregory Jacobs
KEY ACTORS: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett-Smith
IMDB SCORE: 5.6/10
ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE: 65%
SEX SCORE: 4/5
✔️ So, so rewatchable – over and over again…
✔️ Easily passes the Bechdel test – I read one comment that suggested this was deliberate but that feels like progress rather than criticism!
✔️ Sex and pleasure positive – the whole film is about how to please women and I’m sold!
✔️ Wow, the cast are ridiculously fuckable – watch the film and tell me I’m wrong.
❌ No ongoing fantasies – it’s only really when caught up in the film’s literal magic that I find it hot as that level of muscle isn’t normally my thing, but what a testament to the film that it works so well at the time!