How To Make Love to a Woman
This movie was better than I expected. But that is not saying much. I opted to try it after seeing the the three star rating it had on Netflix. First time writer Dennis Kao and first time director Scott Culver certainly have lofty goals. Telling the story of music executive Andy (Josh Meyers) and his troubled relationship with Lauren (Krysten Ritter), they are clearly trying to make a thoughtful romantic comedy that tries to tackle big questions. One night after having sex, he turns to go to sleep, leaving her needs unattended. Lauren offers up a fitful sigh before going to sleep. This leads to the story’s conundrum. Andy fears Lauren is on the verge of leaving him. Just how does he get better at sex? Andy spends the whole film trying to determine how to “make love to a woman” with the help of his friend Layne (Eugene Byrd). He asks for the advice of women friends, porn stars, Magical Asians and lesbians…
In the mean time, competition shows up in the form of an old friend of Lauren’s, who works for another branch of her company. Her boss Curtis (a sorely underused Ken Jeong) wants her to take over in their Chicago office and brings in Daniel (Lost’s Ian Somerhalder) to sweeten the deal. Lauren and Daniel start to catch up, freaking out Andy. Of course, throughout the film we find that Lauren has already presumed Andy is the one and Daniel is not a true threat. Yet, we get several instances of forced fights where Andy makes a jackass of himself, making Lauren’s commitment to him seeming…questionable.
The film’s resolution feels entirely unearned, because the merits of the relationship are hard to justify. The film’s ultimate point is about the love part of the title, not sex. It’s not truly the technique that is the problem, it is Andy’s lack of showing Lauren he loves her.
One thing that works kind of nicely are the little vignettes that pop up featuring split screen couples talking about their love lives. Using a split screen, you get a he said, she said, and often interaction between those couples and their split screens. Unfortunately, the joke becomes a bit stale, as far to many rely on this scenario:
Him: It’s great! We have awesome sex!
Her: It’s okay. I guess. It could be a lot better.
The other thing that worked really well was the really creative opening credits. Heck, grab this on Netflix Watch Instantly and watch the credits. I wish more movies took this kind of time and effort into their opening credits. It’s a simple and effective concept. Also, I want to give them points for their use as a porn star. Rather than using the star in question for cheap and gratuitous nudity, she is present as a human being.
But the weakest link in the film? Josh Meyers. I hate laying this on just his head, but he seems to be trying to transfer his sketch comedy experience into his role. And all his scenes start to feel like sketch after sketch, with Andy seeming uneven and unconvincing as a living breathing character.
In the end, I rated it three stars on Netflix-because I cannot give it two and a half. I give two kinds of three star ratings. One is “I enjoyed it.” The other is “It’s okay. Could be better, could be worse.” This is the “Could be better, could be worse” category.
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