Two couples, each with their own intimacy issues, set out to spice up their love life by attending a sex therapy seminar. After navigating through their problems for about forty minutes, they each settle on group sex to solve their problems, because that’s always the best solution to everything, right?
The first couple is James and Heather (Culkin and Alexis Dziena). James is madly in love with Heather, but she can’t have an orgasm when they have sex. That, my friend, is a problem. The second couple is Ellis and Renee (Kuno Becker and Dushku), who seek thrills to liven up their bored sex life. That, is a problem too… but not as bad as the first.
As fate would have it, these two couples both sign up for the same group sex therapy and… wait for it… they have group sex together. Score!
Like I said before, the first forty minutes of Sex and Breakfast gets tedious as we come to know the couples and what troubles them. A lot of it is just endless babble, although each couple do have some funny moments, and over time, they do both begin to resemble actual couples. But most of the time, we’re waiting for the sex to happen. After all, the film is called Sex and Breakfast.
And unfortunately, the film fails to deliver the goods because it’s too reserved. To tackle the topic of sex — and to have the word “sex” in the title of the movie — you’ve got to really go for it. You can’t just nibble on her neck and whisper in her ear, you’ve got to slap on the rubber gloves like Tyler Durden in Fight Club and dive in head first. I’m not talking nudity, either. I just want some frank, candid discussions about sex. Unfortunately, Sex and Breakfast filters its language too much to do this. Someone needed to remind writer and director Miles Brandman that this was a rated R movie. He had the ability to really spice up the dialog, but he pulled out too early.
OK, enough lame sex jokes. OK, maybe not.
Sex and Breakfast hits the G-spot when the two couples meet and go at it. Brandman films this scene perfectly and the actors really do a good job straddling the line between nervousness and inhibition. This scene almost makes the movie. Almost.
In the end, there is too much foreplay in Sex and Breakfast. It tries at times to be edgy, but other times it comes across more like a CW show than a rated R movie about sex. I’m also not exactly sure what it says about group sex other than “be careful what you wish for” and “it’ll weed out the weak couples”. Hasn’t that been done like, a million times before?
But the actors give it their all, especially Becker and Dushku, and the script, while restrained, does hit the mark every now and then with a good idea or situation. Watching the couples post-group-sex is appropriately uncomfortable.
And if I have to address the elephant in the room, yes that’s really Macaulay Culkin, and yes, it is weird watching him make out with Dushku, but he does a good job creating a likable character. Happy?
But at least Sex and Breakfast tries. And while you may appreciate the effort of a lover who gives it their all in bed, you can’t help but feel a little frustrated when it’s not what you had in mind.
Sex and Breakfast is filmed in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Shot on digital, the picture is clear and sharp. It is slightly blurry, and not as sharp as other digitally shot movies I’ve seen, but for a low-budget film, I have no complaints.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is dialog-heavy, but words are always clear and the music (which there is a lot of) resonates back to the surround speakers nicely which is a pleasant surprise.
There are no features based on the film, but there is a trailer for Sex and Breakfast as well as a ton of previews for other low-budget films such as Strays, Smiley Face,
Paris je t’aime, Broken, The Contract, Journey to the End of the Night, Big Nothing, Mr. Fix It, Relative Strangers, The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down, King of California, Blonde and Blonder, The Amateurs, and Day Zero.
If I have to sum up Sex and Breakfast in one sentence, it’s this: I can appreciate the effort. The script is solid, the actors give it their all, which is nice to see in a low-budget film such as this, and while the film drags a bit, the second half is worth the wait. The A/V specs are solid for what is there, but other than a slew of previews, there no special features to speak of. It could be worse, but that’s not something you want to hear while in bed. The same should apply to movie-making.