Strange Fits of Passion

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 04/06/01 06:18:48

"Interesting female angle but at times too obtuse."
3 stars (Average)

A sexually repressed virgin woman tries to understand the role of love and sex in not only her life, but life in general.

I liked the idea of showing the hunt for sex from the female perspective and not just the general Female(tm) perspective but from the point of view of a woman who just can't seem to find a place for sex in her life as if she ought to.

As a sex film, its not cute, or clever or fun. It doesn't try to titillate or arouse. It puts sex on trial and everyone seems to be not only getting it, but getting the reason for it, except for "She", the lead character with no name.

But she doesn't think it's important to get.

And that's fine for someone to think. But its boring. And I guess throwing a wet blanket on the fires of passion is a part of some people's life, its not what I want to see on the screen.

And I suppose I'm not sophisticated, or enlightened, or open minded because I think its boring to spend 90 minutes watch someone fizzle rather than dazzle or not give myself to a "challenging" topic.

As a male, (well, a gay male who is almost irrelevant to this conversation), I guess I'm supposed to think that women have a different relatinship to sex than men. But my sexual attention is always on other men, and I am a man, so there is no gender gap to bridge. At some point, "she" decides she is a lesbian, but that doesn't work out. Her best friend, who is gay, tries to explain sex and love to her but it turns out he is pretty deluded and in a strange twist, his inability to deal with his self-delusions causes him to commit suicide.

This film did that several times. You are ambling along and then it just jerks you into some other room that seems to have no connection to the story. It just gives the actors an excuse to express some emotion other than the flat, passionless personality of a sexless protagonist who sets the tone for the film.

Its perfect that she is mousy and works in a used bookstore. That's where she'll probably die.

I'm not sure why it was nominated for any awards other than the "this is supposed to challenge our perceptions and give us an alternative."

But sex is what life is about. Especially at springtime, right? I may as well have just sat through a Catholic Mass.

Some of the scenes are funny but the film can't make up its mind if its a comedy or a tragedy and there are just too many radical swings in tone and theme that I was left basically getting what the film was doing but not really liking how it got me there.

There is plenty of "white space" in the story for active audience participation in the construction of the story and relating it to one's life. So if you don't like to be led by the nose then you'd probably like the unconnected feel of this movie.

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