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Top 10 Tangled Love Triangles in Film

August 28, 2012


The tangled love triangle is such a cinematic trope that we could probably put together a list for every year (or a list of Top 10 love triangles with bad ’80s haircuts… or Top 10 love triangles starring Reese Witherspoon…). We decided to limit this list to love-triangle films we actually enjoyed (and not in a guilty-pleasure kind of way) — which is why you won’t find the Bella-Edward-Jacob affair here, despite the ubiquity of “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” merchandise. Same goes for PEARL HARBOR (2001), which attempted to make the love triangle a heroic response to war; or WILD THINGS (1995), which accessorized the love triangle with hot tubs and champagne (and was really more of a lust triangle, anyway); or INDECENT PROPOSAL (1993), which theorized the love triangle as a financial and real estate decision; or MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING (1997), which was a terrible movie despite championing off-key karaoke.

10. Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN (2001)
This is one of those rare love triangles that has something for everyone, whether you’re an indiphile, an unabashed lover of weepie romances, a subtitles-only film snob, or an avid consumer of soft-core porn. And the guy-on-guy action is a pleasant surprise for straight women (and gay men) who like to roll their eyes at the champagne-and-hot-tub, two-girls-and-a-guy love triangles that are a Hollywood favorite. It’s rare for on-screen sex to be both realistic and scorching hot, but this movie, er, nails it.

9. THE DREAMERS (2003)
Leave it to Bernardo Bertolucci to add a hint of incest to the classic love triangle. Set in Paris (of course it is), this film tells the story of an American student and film lover who befriends a French brother and sister who are equally passionate about film (of course they are) and each other. We’re pretty sure that you could put any three film students in Paris for a few weeks and some kind of tangled love triangle would ensue — especially when they’re as attractive and as fond of nudity as these three.

Artsy-European-student-triangle runner-up: In the Spanish movie 3SOME (2009) — airing on the Sundance Channel August 17 — a woman goes to art school and decides she wants to explore sex (shocking, we know). She meets a guy who has a buddy… you know where this is going, right? A threeway relationship, natch. “It’s not normal,” she says. “But we’re not normal,” the guy argues. We’re artists.” Yep.

8. HEARTBEATS (2010)
This film’s original French title is LES AMOURS IMAGINAIRES (the filmmaker is Quebecois), which is a lot more fitting — because only two out of the three people in this movie (which airs on the Sundance Channel August 18) appear to be aware of the love triangle. By the way, you’ll notice that love triangles that take place outside the U.S. are much more likely to be M-M-F (god bless ‘em) — and this uber-stylized film is no exception. Francis and Marie are best pals — he’s a gay man, she’s a straight woman — who fall for the same guy, a blithely gorgeous and androgynous traveler of undetermined sexuality named Nicolas. The three share a bed because Nicolas is broke, but the only hanky-panky that takes place is in Francis and Marie’s rich fantasy lives. Not surprisingly, their friendship doesn’t exactly weather this storm. It’s like a hipster Quebecois remake of JULES AND JIM (1962).

Runner-up imaginary love triangle: FIGHT CLUB (1999) — sure, the sex was real, but there was no steamy triangle with Brad Pitt; that part was all in Edward Norton’s head. And can you blame him, really?

Woody Allen may be all-American (or, at least, all-NYC), but even he chose to he set his love triangle in Spain. Scarlett Johansson plays an American student traveling in Europe who, naturally, ends up in a domestic threeway with wild artist (Javier Bardem) and his crazy-jealous ex-wife (Penelope Cruz). We could tell you about the snappy dialogue or the intricate plot twists, but do you even care at this point? You’ve got pretty much the most attractive love triangle in the entire history of human entanglement. What more do you need? For one of them to go all psycho with a knife? Done.

6. THE GRADUATE (1967)
Oh, Mrs. Robinson, you never stood a chance against your daughter. Here’s to you, anyway.

It’s inspired by the classic love triangle in Pride and Prejudice, but only in BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY do the two men competing for the same woman’s attention (Hugh Grant and Colin Firth) actually roll around on the street together in a full-on, glass-shattering brawl. The fighting is even funnier in the sequel, BRIDGET JONES: EDGE OF REASON (2004) — airing on the Sundance Channel August 13th and 19th — when the action is more girly cat-fight, complete with hair-pulling, ineffectual kicking, and a chase around a fountain.

4. CASABLANCA (1942)
They’ll always have Paris, and we’ll always have one of the most enduring — and heart-wrenching — love triangles of all time.  Most of the time we’re incredibly grateful that this movie was made before the era when endings were “audience-tested” — but there’s a teeny-tiny part of us that wishes there were a version out there where Bogart gets the girl. Is it possible that every cinematic love triangle since CASABLANCA has been trying to make amends for Bogart’s sacrifice?

Runner-up for ne-plus-ultra love triangle: JULES AND JIM (1962). Francois Truffaut’s film has war, marriage, divorce, miscarriages, gun fighting, and suicide-by-cliff. (Oh, how French.) It’s been inspiring homages ever since — both on and off the screen.

Ain’t no love triangle like a 1760 love triangle! John Malkovich seduces married Michelle Pfeiffer on a dare from his control-freak ex Glenn Close. But when Malkovich actually falls in love, Close is royally pissed off — and thus ensues one of the most tortuous break-up scenes of all time: “It’s beyond my control,” Malkovich says again and again, in a line fed to him by Close. “Why do you suppose we only feel compelled to chase the ones who run away?” Malkovich says to Close at one point. Close replies, “Immaturity?” A pretty key element to most love triangles, we’d say.

Finally, an all-American love triangle! It takes place in the middle of the Civil War, ferchrissakes. It’s too bad Scarlett O’Hara never read Les Liaison dangereuses — if she had, she might have realized a lot sooner that it was only an immature desire to chase the unavailable man which made Ashley even mildly attractive (even his name is timid). For future reference, Scarlett, when choosing between two men named Ashley and Rhett, always go with the Rhett.

We suppose the nineties was alright for love-triangle rom-coms (there was REALITY BITES in 1994), but man, did the eighties rock it. The top spot in this list is basically a tie between SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL and PRETTY IN PINK (1986), but we ended up choosing the former because of the ending (and for how awesome tomboy Mary Stuart Masterson looked as a cross-dressing chauffeur). Did you know that in the original script for PRETTY IN PINK, Andie stays with Duckie? But test audiences booed, so in the final cut Duckie gives his blessing for her to go after “richie” Blane. In SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL, on the other hand, it’s the loyal best friend (Masterson) from the same side of the tracks who gets the guy — and the diamond earrings. Who cares about Paris — we’ll always have John Hughes.

This post originally appeared on SUNfiltered


Top 10 Sexiest Scenes Directed by Tony Scott, R.I.P.

August 22, 2012


British-born Hollywood director Tony Scott (brother of fellow filmmaker Ridley) died this past Sunday when he jumped from a bridge in Los Angeles. We didn’t know the man so we can remember him only through some of our favorite moments that he directed on the screen (well, at least, our favorite sex-related moments)…

10. The best-ever euphemism for a topping male sex partner: wingman. As in, Iceman (Val Kilmer) saying, “You can be my wingman any time.” And Maverick (Tom Cruise) replying, “Bullshit! You can be mine.” From, of course, TOP GUN (1983).

9. Tony Scott worked frequently with Denzel Washington, and though he mostly directed him in action scenes (as opposed to sex or love scenes), Washington’s tough guys oozed sex appeal in Scott’s movies. (So much so that we, two grown women and mothers of two small children each, are forced to use phrases like “oozed sex appeal.” Apologies, dear readers.) Like in DEJA VU (2006), when a bad guy (played by Jim Caviezel) tells Washington, ”You better have some divine intervention, buddy. You’re gonna need it.” And Washington replies, “You better have some KY. You’re gonna need it.” Talk about a MAN ON FIRE (2004… another movie in which Scott directed Washington).

8. “I had to come all the way from the highway and byways of Tallahassee, Florida, to MotorCity, Detroit, to find my true love. If you gave me a million years to ponder, I would never have guessed that true romance and Detroit would ever go together. And til this day, the events that followed all still seems like a distant dream. But the dream was real and was to change our lives forever. I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and things seemed to be getting so shitty. And he’d say, ‘That’s the way it goes, but don’t forget, it goes the other way too.’ That’s the way romance is… Usually, that’s the way it goes, but every once in a while, it goes the other way too.” — A prostitute named Alabama (Patricia Arquette) talking about her husband Clarence (Christian Slater) in TRUE ROMANCE (1993), directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino

7. When hot-shot stock car driver Cole (Tom Cruise) mistakes his new doctor Claire (Nicole) for a stripper in DAYS OF THUNDER (1990). Not because she’s wearing stripper shoes, but because his colleagues had previously sent him a stripper dressed as a cop who “pats him down,” notices his erection, and says, “Looks like we found something… A concealed weapon.” We should note that the script is excruciating: Cole later tells Claire “I’m more afraid of bein’ nothing than I am of bein’ hurt.” And at another point, she tells him, “Boy, you’re very quick,” to which he replies — of course he does — “You oughta see me drive.” (Cruise himself is credited as one of the screenwriters, which tells you everything you need to know. And Tony Scott once said that they started filming without a script: they were basically told to put Cruise in a fast car and they’d make a fast buck.) Despite all that, though, we kind of love the chemistry between Cruise and Kidman — this is the movie where they met. Oh how we miss eighties/early-nineties Cruise.

6. “I eat the pussy, I eat the butt, I eat every motherfuckin’ thang.” — Big Don (Samuel L. Jackson) in TRUE ROMANCE (1993). It was much funnier back then (despite the use of the P-word, which has always made our skin crawl), before screenwriter Quentin Tarantino started to annoy the shit out of us. In fact, we think the only thing worse than the word “pussy” is the idea of Quentin Tarantino saying the word “pussy.”

5. Maverick (Tom Cruise) in a bar, serenading his flight school teacher Charlie (Kelly McGillis, with a pink sweater draped over her shoulders) with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” in TOP GUN (1986). We know that this scene, co-starring a pre-E.R. Anthony Edwards as Goose, has kind of lost its oomph after so many bad karaoke renditions (not to mention the whole Scientology thing), but take yourself back to the very first time you saw it: pure eighties magic.

Read the rest of the list on SUNfiltered



How Technology Fixes Fairy Tales

August 1, 2012


While Em was reading her daughter a bedtime story the other night, it occurred to her — because she has read the same stories hundreds of times and thus it is possible to think about potential posts for this blog while reading — that a swift exchange of contact info would have been a much easier way for the Prince to stay in touch with Cinderella. And if the Prince and Cinderella forgot to exchange digits before midnight, then a few minutes of Internet stalking — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, et al — would have fixed that. It’s perhaps not quite as romantic as visiting every woman in the land with a missing shoe, but it’s a lot more convenient. Also, less gross. (Hello, Athlete’s foot. Google that, Prince Charming.)

Anyway, this got us wondering how many other fairy tales could be swiftly solved — or ruined, depending on your take — by technology:

Beauty and the Beast: If the Beast had just signed up for an online dating site like OKCupid, he and Belle could have fallen in love over the Internet while they talked about books and reading and romance… before ever exchanging photographs.

The Little Mermaid: Instead of saving the Prince from a storm and dragging him to the shore, she could have just cued up SPLASH on his Netflix account and he would have dived in looking for her, faster than you can say “Daryl Hannah in a fish suit.” Of course, if she did stupidly trade in her voice for a pair of legs, she could have always turned to the ultra modern technology of writing to spell it all out for him.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: If the Prince had taken just one goddamned CPR class in his entire life, then he would have known to check her airway and he would have found that piece of apple lodged in her throat. We’re partial to a Prince Charming who knows the Heimlich Maneuver, but maybe that’s just us.

The Emperor’s New Clothes: If you don’t believe a small child in the crowd who says you look ridiculous with no clothes on, perhaps you’ll believe a YouTube video that’s going viral with three million (and counting) hits.

The Princess and the Pea: Four words for you, sister: Sleep Number Memory Foam.

Rapunzel: We have seen the mountains men will scale and the rivers they will cross just to get laid. We have also seen the remarkably creative technological feats men have achieved just to make masturbation feel like getting laid. And so we refuse to believe that a motivated young man wouldn’t figure out a way to get into that tower. As it were.

Little Red Riding Hood: Either Little Red Riding Hood would be traumatized for life after these events… or else some kind soul would help her work through her issues with a little modern therapeutic BDSM-tinted role-play.

Read the rest of this list on SUNfiltered

Top 10 Scenes of Bare America

July 19, 2012


In honor of the birth month of our nation, we collected the top 10 classic birthday-suit scenes from American movies with American themes. The fact that only a minority of them are healthy depictions of sex reflects our puritanical country’s fucked-up relationship with the topic. Feel free to light a sparkler and disrobe in patriotic solidarity — maybe you can make American sex a little more positive.



PSYCHO (1960) - The fact that the character of Marion is seen in a bra at the beginning of the film was scandalous enough at the time — but to have her gruesomely killed while naked in the shower? Shocking! According to IMDB, there’s a rumor that the release board didn’t initially okay the film because they were convinced there was a nipple shot in the shower scene. Of course, there wasn’t — the cinematography and score were so well done, people’s imaginations just easily filled in the blanks. We can thank Hitchcock for launching a long, sordid American tradition of combining female nudity with unspeakable violence for cheap thrills and entertainment purposes.


THE GRADUATE (1967) - Much like PSYCHO, THE GRADUATE’s most famous scene uses quick flashes of body parts. Of course, in this movie, the violence is all emotional and there is indeed a nipple shot. Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) famously tries to seduce Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college grad who’s struggling to figure out what to do with his life, especially now that he’s realizing the lives of his parents’ generation aren’t necessarily something to aspire to (what with them all being evil succubi and whatnot).


KRAMER VS. KRAMER (1979) - Ushering in an era of divorce as an acceptable option for unhappy marrieds in America, this heartbreaking movie details the impact separation can have on a family, including the awkwardness of a parent’s new single sex life. In this scene, the 7-year-old son confronts his father’s first sex partner since the split in the hallway in the middle of the night — she, of course, is naked. If your parents got divorced when you were young, then you know how impactful this scene can be; if your parents got divorced when you were young and you watched this movie around the same time, then you know how gut-wrenchingly traumatic it can be.


FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982) - We had to put in at least one classic American teenage boy fantasy: Phoebe Cates in a red bikini climbing out of a backyard pool in slo-mo and undoing the front clasp of her top. This all happens in the mind of the senior boy jerking off to her inside in the bathroom until the fully clasped Cates accidentally busts in on him while looking for a Q-tip for her water-logged ears. Payback’s a bitch.


HAROLD & MAUDE (1971) - A classic movie that cautioned against American consumerism, celebrated the pursuit of happiness (no matter how untraditional that happiness is), and championed the right to literally — and theatrically — die. Plus, with its tender love story (and post-coital bed scene) between 79-year-old Maude and 20-something Harold, it was the first movie to acknowledge that the elderly are sexual people too — and this was years before Viagra! Revolutionary.

Read the rest of this list on SundanceChannel.com

Top 10 Movie Couples We Want to Double-Date

July 12, 2012


Double-dating is at least as hard as plain old dating. First of all, there’s two of them and two of you, which means there are four potential relationships to negotiate — you’re trying to find a couple with whom you have four-way chemistry. That’s Nobel-level stuff happening there. And then there’s the lack of sex — unless you’re swingers, of course. You might forgive your date’s annoying dining habits (chewing with their mouth open, gesticulating with a fork) because you’re going to get some hot monkey lovin’ later on. But your double date? The best you can hope for is a double kiss on the cheek, European style. So they’d better be good company. Here are the top ten movie couples we wouldn’t mind double-dating with. (Though we can’t promise that our other halves would necessarily agree.)

10. Captain Von Trapp and the Baroness (SOUND OF MUSIC, 1965)

Sure, if we were seven years old and liked to skip a lot, we’d love to go to dinner with the Captain (Christopher Plummer) and Maria (Julie Andrews). Hey, maybe we could even put on a puppet show! But if it’s witty banter, heavy drinking, and good old-fashioned innuendo you’re looking for, then the Baroness (Eleanor Parker) wins hands down.

9. Loretta and Ronny (MOONSTRUCK, 1987)

Cher and Nicholas Cage — how could they do so right in this movie, and later go so wrong? It’s our fantasy to be on a double-date with this couple and have Cher slap someone in the face to wake them up to their life. Actually, maybe she could slap everyone at the table, each for whatever they needed to snap out of. And while we mostly prefer to avoid double-dating couples who fight in public, we’d kind of like to see these two go at it. We think we could learn a thing or two about how to lay it all out on the table… and, later, screw and make up. Also, Cage is eighteen years younger than Cher! We just want to be around that kind of magic.

8. Ennis Del Mar & Jack Twist (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, 2005)

Normally, excessive P.D.A. is kind of a deal-breaker on a double date. First of all — ew, we’re eating! And second, who wants to double-date a couple who makes them feel like their own sex life is drab and monotonous? But with these guys (played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal): bring it on! We could even stand to see a little tongue. In the end, though, we just want to double-date these guys so we can reach across the table, squeeze their hands, and tell them it’ll all be okay if they’d just move to the West Village or San Francisco.

7. Harry Burns & Sally Albright (WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, 1989)

Since opposites usually attract, chances are one if you is high maintenance and the other isn’t. This would balance out a double date with Harry and Sally nicely. There would be lively debate, some fun rounds of Pictionary, maybe even some drunken dancing involving the White Man’s Overbite. One would just hope Sally would know NOT to pull out her female orgasm impression at the dinner table when guests are over.

6. David Norris and Elise Sellas (THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, 2011)

This film was pretty unremarkable except for one, kind of amazing element: proper, grown-up, palpable chemistry between two characters (played by Matt Damon and Emily Blunt) that was equal parts brain and booty. It shouldn’t be that rare to see two smart, funny, beautiful people fall for each other’s intellect on screen, but it feels like it is. We just wanted that scene on the bus to keep going — which is why we want a double date. Because they seem like the kind of couple who could turn that buzzy charm on their dinner guests, too — rather than just sticking their tongues down each other’s throats. Oh, and if the waiter turns out to be an evil undercover agent from an alternate universe, then they’d probably come in pretty handy, too.

Read the rest of this list on SUNfiltered

Top 30 #VaginaMovieLines Tweets

June 19, 2012


To follow up on our Vaginagate roundup post from yesterday, now that the trending on Twitter had died down, here are our top 30 picks for best #vaginamovielines Tweets of the past week, so you can avoid scrolling through the endless stream of mediocrity and get straight to the good stuff:

NEGATIVE (from the perspective of Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, the would-be Emperor of vaginas):

  1. “Say ‘vagina’ again. Say ‘vagina’ again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say ‘vagina’ one more Goddamn time! ” (Pulp Fiction)
  2. “If I only had a vagina.” (The Wizard of Oz)
  3. “The first rule of Vagina Club: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT VAGINA CLUB.” (Fight Club)
  4. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a vagina.” (Gone with the Wind)
  5. “Frankly Vagina, I don’t give a damn.” (Gone with the Wind)
  6. “Whatever you do, don’t get it wet. And never, ever, feed it after midnight.” (Gremlins)
  7. “Is your muffin buttered? … Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?” (Mean Girls)
  8. “Love means never having to say ‘vagina’.” (Love Story)
  9. “I am SICK and TIRED of these MOTHERFUCKING VAGINAS on this MOTHERFUCKING PLANE!!!” (Snakes on a Plane)
  10. “Lions and tigers and vaginas, oh my!” (The Wizard of Oz)
  11. “What’s in the box?!” (Se7en)
  12. “I’m king of the vagina!” (Titanic)
  13. “I don’t like your vagina name. I don’t like your vagina face. I don’t like your vagina behavior, and I don’t like you, vagina. Do I make myself clear?” (The Big Lebowski)
  14. “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little vagina, too.” (The Wizard of Oz)
  15. “Vaginas? We ain’t got no vaginas. We don’t need no vaginas! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ vaginas!” (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)

Read the 15 POSITIVE Tweets (from the perspective of Rep. Lisa Brown’s, brave defender of vaginas) on SUNfiltered


In Praise of Harold and Maude

June 14, 2012


photo via flickr

You know the worst thing about the movie THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY? Not the semen hair gel gag, or the clogged toilet, or the zipper in the ball sac. Nope, it’s when Cameron Diaz’s character Mary declares that the movie HAROLD AND MAUDE (released this week for the first time on Blu-Ray) is the “greatest love story of our time.” We happen to think she’s right, but all of a sudden it became a bit trite to celebrate this 1971 love story about a 79-year-old free spirited woman and a 20-year-old guy who likes to fake his own suicide to freak out his mom.

Fortunately, we happen to think that people will be talking about MAUDE long after MARY is no more than a vague fragment of a memory about Cameron’s sticky hair do. And, trite or no, we will continue to rhapsodize about this extreme May-December love story. Because, as Maura Kelly notes in a great Atlantic article: “It’s hard to find a subsequent film that depicts an older person, particularly an older woman, with so much dignity and tenderness — as someone comfortable with her age, who is sexually active and quite attractive. That’s dismaying because seniors who age naturally can be babes, as Gordon makes clear, and they do have sexual needs and lives; to omit their reality is to omit part of the human experience.”

Read the rest of this post on SUNfiltered

Top 10 Summer Movies to See (a Guess)

June 8, 2012


Spider-who? Bat-who? Bourne-who? Forget the summer action blockbusters. This season we’re much more interested in the softer, sassier, saucier flicks. Instead of aliens, action and adventure, sex, love, family and friendship are the big themes with these movies. Women make up a majority of the lead roles (for a change). Most are indie. And for some reason they all come out this month. Guess it makes sense to get your summer love on early.

1. LOLA VERSUS (June 8)  - Dumped 3 weeks before her wedding, 29-year-old Lola (played by the lovable Greta Gerwig) embarks on a series of desperate encounters to find her place in the world before hitting the big 3-O.

2. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (June 8)  - They had us at “From the producers of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.” Aubrey Plaza (PARKS AND RECREATION) plays an intern at a Seattle magazine who goes undercover to investigate the author of a classified ad seeking someone to time travel with (“Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guarateed. I have only done this once before.”).

3. BEL AMI (June 8)  - A hot (but pasty and penniless) soldier (Robert Pattinson) in 19th century France uses his masculine wiles to get ahead/get some head.

4. YOUR SISTER’S SISTER (June 15) - What happens when your sister accidentally sleeps with the man you’re in love with. We don’t want to know. We mean, we want to know, just not personally. Emily Blunt stars with some other indie heavyweights you’ll recognize.

5. BRAVE (June 22) - If you don’t count the mom and the sister (who were basically non-entities), Pixar’s TOY STORY had only one female character: Bo Peep, the sexy little lamp who’s minuscule role was basically as Woody’s fluffer. After a whopping 12 films, Pixar — or should we say Dixar? — is finally making a movie with a female lead. Let’s hope she has a cool female buddy, not just a domineering mother.

See movies 5 through 10 here!


Top 10 Gay Sex Scenes in Mainstream Movies

June 7, 2012


Thanks to the Hays Code, gay characters were largely missing from the movies up until 1968. And even more recently than that, it was considered career suicide for a male actor to “play gay.” These days, it’s not hard to find gay characters in mainstream Hollywood films — the gay best friend has become a rom-com staple. But the gay side kick, as Hollywood portrays him, tends to be much more interested in shopping and gossiping with his straight female friends than in having sex. Which means you have to put in a little effort to find steamy scenes between two men. Not so much with the on-screen lesbian action, however — after all, the woman-on-woman kiss is box office gold, and women who lock lips with each other become instant sex symbols. Fortunately, movie goers and movie makers are lightening up a bit, so even stars like Leonardo DiCaprio are now willing to lock lips with another dude. Here are ten of our favorite gay sex scenes — or, at least, sexy scenes — in mainstream movies.


It didn’t start off mainstream, but once everyone you know — including your parents — can do the Time Warp, then it’s gone from cult to cliche:

Bow-tie wearing Brad (Brad Bostwick) and lily-white Janet (Susan Sarandon) take a trip to celebrate their engagement. When their car breaks down in the rain they end up in a nearby castle, where they meet “sweet transvestite” Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry) and his free lovin’ compatriots. Frank N. Furter dresses up as Janet and then sneaks into Brad’s room to seduce him. Through a rather discreet lace curtain (hey, this was 1975 after all), we watch Brad transition — in 30 seconds flat! — from no-way-dude-that’s-a-penis to what-the-hell-it-feels-good.

Actually, forget what we said about 1975; you’d be hard-pressed to get this movie made in 2012, lace curtain or no.

9. BLACK SWAN (2010)

In this utterly ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious movie, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis do ecstasy together, dry-hump on the dance floor, and then end up in bed. Of course they do.

Our favorite quote ever about the lesbian oral sex in this movie comes from gay website AfterElton.com: “Hollywood producers and directors have a long tradition of shying away from gay male sex scenes – even as they labor valiantly to insert lesbian sex in the most ridiculous of places. Nina had lesbian sex in BLACK SWAN to show how obsessed she was with herself? Really, Darren Aronofsky? Couldn’t you just come out and say, ‘This is how we got financing. A movie about ballet? I mean, are you kidding? Of course, we had to do this!’”

8. J. EDGAR (2011)

Okay, so all they do is kiss, but this was the fifties and these guys were buttoned up with everything to lose, so maybe that’s all they did do.

Leonardo DiCaprio (as J. Edgar Hoover) and Armie Hammer (as his loyal assistant Clyde Tolson) get into a fist fight and fall to the ground, at which point Tolson goes in for a kiss. It’s simultaneously sexy and heartbreaking because you know that this kiss has to stand in for everything else they wish they could do together. And it’s almost enough to make us forgive THE BEACH.

Male kiss runner-up: Sean Penn and James Franco in MILK (2008).


Hot prepster Ben (Bradley Cooper) is in love with his fellow camp counselor McKinley (Michael Ian Black). During the simultaneously hilarious and yet earnestly hot sex scene, their two straight buddies watch McKinley disappear into a log cabin (heh) and surmise that he probably went to write his mommy and daddy a letter. “What a fag,” they say. As Ben and McKinley get it on, their buddies continue in a voice-over, trying to figure out who would have sex with McKinley (“Debbie? No, she’s got mono.”). Meanwhile, inside the cabin, Cooper takes off his lover’s shirt and smells it, then the guys do it against a wall while wearing matching white tube socks with red stripes!

According to an interview with Cooper, the following exchange was filmed for this sex scene but ended up on the cutting room floor: Ben: “Say my name.” McKinley: “Ben!” Ben: “No! Say my Christian name.” McKinley [whispering]: “Benjamin.” And “that’s when I came,” Cooper says in the interview. Aw, man.

6. GIA (1998)

It’s only fitting that at least one Angelina Jolie movie be on this list, given that she pretty much owns the “Which woman would you turn lesbian for?” category.

In one of the — many, many — sex scenes in this movie, Jolie’s hard-partying supermodel character appears to a hump a chain-link fence during a naked fashion photo shoot — and then the photographer asks the make-up artist (Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell) to join in and the two women get naked and laugh kind of silently in a music montage like they’re in a TV commercial for salad dressing (oh right, this was a TV movie). Then they have a threeway with the fence.

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Top 10 Most Unrealistic Sex Scenes of All Time

May 24, 2012


Movies are all about imagination, fantasy, suspension of disbelief — especially when it comes to their sex scenes. But the mind is capable of only so much mental gymnastics before it goes “Nuh uh.” If the sex in question — or any aspect of the movie, really — doesn’t have enough believability, we’re taken out of the experience, much in the same way an unfortunate bodily emission can kill even the most passionate mood. Here are the worst cinematic offenders of all time:

10. Standing up sex in JERRY MAGUIRE (1996)
Ask people to name their favorite Hollywood sex scene and chances are, a standing sex scene will come up. For some reason, two people doing it upright just conveys heat. But how often does anyone actually climax in this position? Well, Tom Cruise and his redheaded, dirty-talking fiance (played by Kelly Preston) certainly do in JERRY MAGUIRE. Bonus points because they have a simultaneous orgasm in this scene, which is pretty much the only kind of orgasm that gets the Hollywood stamp of approval — but is rarer in real-life than a Botox-free face is in L.A.

Runners-up: The standing sex in 8 MILE (Brittany Murphy and Eminem, 2002); LESS THAN ZERO (Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz, 1987), and ATONEMENT (Keira Knightly and James McAvoy, 2007).

9. On the staircase in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1999)
What do movies have against beds? In the alternate reality on-screen, it’s not only possible but actually orgasmic to do it in awkward positions on hard, unforgiving surfaces like a piano (PRETTY WOMAN, 1990), a subway car (RISKY BUSINESS, 1983), a kitchen table (THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, 1981) and, in the prize-winning scene from THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR: on a cold, marble staircase.

For bonus points, THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR also features sex on a marble floor and sex on a wooden desk piled high with books.

8. The bathroom quickie in UNFAITHFUL (2002)
How many women do you know who can have a zero-to-sixty quickie orgasm without the aid of a Hitachi Magic Wand? And how many women do you know who can pull this off in a cramped public bathroom stall in a New York City restaurant?

Sure, we get that it’s a turn-on to do it in semi-public while a bunch of ladies-who-lunch are waiting for you to join them, but we’re just not buying her insta-orgasm over a toilet. The UNFAITHFUL scene, starring Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez, gets bonus points because they’re standing up (see #1).

Runner-up: Timothy Olyphan’s quickie sex against the bathroom sink with a female party guest (he rams away for a few thrusts and she climaxes) in CATCH AND RELEASE (2006).

7. The cheerleader roleplaying scene in A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005)
Only professional actors — in this case, Maria Bello and Viggo Mortensen — could maintain the kind of straight face and suspension of disbelief required to make this scene so hot. And we admit it: it’s freakin’ hot. (So sue us, we don’t always need our movie sex scenes to be realistic.) But the chances of two normal, mortal, middle-aged beings pulling off a 69 while one of them is dressed in her high school cheerleading outfit? Slim to none.

Runner up: Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney in OUT OF SIGHT (1998), pretending that he’s not a thief and she’s not a federal marshal so they can do it. (Because in real life, most of us are pretending to be the thief or the federal marshal… or we’re pretending to be Clooney and Lopez.)

6. Britney Spears loses her virginity in CROSSROADS (2002)
It’s simultaneously sweet and hilarious: Spears’ character and her boyf do that classic, only-in-Hollywood, orgasmic hand thing: the camera focuses on both of their hands reaching out and coming together in a metaphor for (we assume) simultaneous orgasm and/or a melding of souls. On your first time? We wouldn’t put money on it. Plus, Britney Spears as a virgin? Please.

Runner-up: Liv Tyler loses her virginity to her hottie Italian summer fling in STEALING BEAUTY (1996). Bonus points because they do it on a picnic blanket under a tree and no one gets poison ivy or mosquito bites on their butt.

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