Adapted from the book “Recherches sur la sexualité archives du surrealism” (the same way as Woody Allen adapted Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask from Dr. David Reuben’s pansophisty compendium?), is a collection of meetings and discussions about sex and sexual experiences of several young aristocrats, and an older, wealthier lascivious brute — as transcribed by two nubile stenographers.(The “What is Sodomy” bit in Everything You Always… with Gene Wilder and his leather garter belt-wearing sheep, is especially recalled when Nick Nolte shares his past experiences with a mule.) All in all, the investigation is a bit of a bust; despite the period trimmings, there is little that hasn’t been covered in this topicality. The interrogation format of the movie provides, once worked up to it, a spewing of theories, heated arguments, exacerbated comparisons. (“I abused myself in ways I should have been arrested for” or “sex is in the groin of the beholder,” etc.) While the sexual persiflage remains on the surface, the movie attains light entertainment subtracted from when Rudolph shoots for the determinedly strange, such as the sexual abstraction referred to as “Succubus.” The sexual stimulants, the stenographers, are split on levels of inspiration as it is — Neve Campbell as a prudish flibbertigibbet rises above the banality of the role trappings, while Robin Tunney comfortably plops down as an ornament of worn sexuality. For a movie about sex, one might note that nearly right up until the climax, so to say, Rudolph keeps the pants buttoned tightly.
With Dermot Mulroney, Jeremy Davies, Hart Bochner, Alan Cumming, Julie Delpy and Tuesday Weld.[Worth-seeing.]