Friday, 7 February 2014

SEX AFTER KIDS - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Fine Cast Wasted in Lame Bourgeois Feature Length TV Sitcom

Sex After Kids (2013)
Dir. Jeremy Lalonde
Starring: Gordon Pinsent, Zoie Palmer, Paul Amos, Mary Krohnert, Kate Hewlett, Jay Brazeau, Mimi Kuzyk, Katie Boland, Kris Holden-Ried, Amanda Brugel, Peter Keleghan, Shannon Beckner, Ennis Esmer

Review By Greg Klymkiw

I've said it before, I'll say it again: "Who wants to go to the movies to watch TV?" Sadly, there have been any number of lame comedies released during the new millennium - both indie and studio - that are little more than feature-length TV sitcoms and sadder yet, some of them actually do decent numbers at the box-office. This Canadian feature film is probably not the worst, nor especially egregious example of this - Lord knows some of the more disgraceful efforts in this genre of inconsequence have come from entities that should know better.

Some of the all-time worst seem to star the revolting Sarah Jessica Parker - films like Failure to Launch, Did You Hear About the Morgans and, of course, both loathsome Sex and the City movies have rubbed our noses in the dog doo-doo that is the woefully galumphing creature of the equine persuasion who, thankfully, is nowhere to be seen in Sex After Kids, but oddly, about the best that can be said for this trifle of a movie is that one could imagine a bigger budget version of it starring that toothy, horrendous version of Old Paint on two legs.

There is a clearly attractive and talented cast of terrific Canadian actors in this ensemble piece and while it is mildly pleasing to see some of them do their best with the sitcom dialogue to the point where one could imagine some of it being funny, the fact remains that none of it ever is.

The series of stories here all deal with the problems bourgeois couples face in the sack after they have kids. Tying it all together is the almost-funny presence of the wonderful Gordon Pinsent as a sex therapist. I say, "almost" funny only because the idea of the stalwart Canuck having to talk about various sex acts is a lot more amusing than the execution. It's not Pinsent's fault that the funniest thing for me is imagining him use sex terms adorned in his RCMP outfit from "Forest Rangers", but the writing here is generally sub-par - even by the standards of - ahem - CBC-TV comedy. Pinsent gives it the old CBC-try, but I'd frankly rather watch him in The Rowdyman for the umpteenth glorious time.

Basically, what we get here is a clutch of couples post-birth, struggling through the dilemmas of keeping the old-boink-flames going. We have a lesbian couple, various straight couples, single moms, Lothario-types, oldsters with the empty nest syndrome, etc. and we watch them go through the ropes and tropes of their flawed sex lives as the picture grinds away in its by-the-numbers fashion that reminds one of a feature length pilot for a Canadian version of "Love American Style".

And gosh golly gee, they all learn to spice things up and/or get the passion and lovin' back in their inconsequential lives.

That the world pictured is so offensively bourgeois is bad enough, but that we have to see so many good actors wasted is borderline sickening. Given that the movie was made for a crowd-funded pittance makes me feel like I'm kicking a cripple by dumping on it, but the bottom line is that the movie was made, it's out there in the world and it's really not very good.

That said, I reiterate my aforementioned point that the movie is so inconsequential that it might stand a decent enough chance to have the remake rights sold to a studio and then we can get an even more empty version not unlike one of those awful Working Title sitcoms with the likes of Hugh Grant traipsing through the silliness for female audiences comprised of steno-girls, mall workers and their suffering dates. Then they too can get all warm and cuddly, get some boinking in, get married, have their loathsome children and then have the same sex-after-kids problems afflicting the characters of this TV movie.

"Sex After Kids" is inexplicably playing in theatrical venues via Indie-Can Entertainment. Look forward to it on pay-per-view if you miss it on the big screen and maybe, just maybe, we'll see a long-running series on CBC and maybe even a Working Title version with Liam Neeson in the Gordon Pinsent role. I can imagine it now - "You folks better get boinking or I'm going to find you and I'm going to kill you."