History of Sex in Cinema:
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
In 2011, there appeared to be a trend to show more nudity and sexual scenes in the less restrictive cable-TV dramas and shows (the "boob tube"), not bound by the FCC, than in the movies. The series produced by the pay-TV networks are often saturated with nudity and sex. See more in 2012 listings.
Albatross (2011, UK)
Director Niall MacCormick (with his feature film debut) and screenwriter Tamzin Rafn's film was a coming-of-age/unraveling-of-a-dysfunctional marriage drama, set at a cliff-seaside hotel on the English coast. It told of a hotel-owning family with an unhappy marriage between frustrated novelist Jonathan Fischer (Sebastian Koch) and his unsatisfied and embittered wife Joa (Julia Ormond), and their oldest, bookish, introverted Oxford-bound teenaged daughter Beth (Felicity Jones).
In a star-making role, Downton Abbey's Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) portrayed their sarcastic 17 year-old, Cliff-House cleaning lady Emelia Conan-Doyle, a free-spirited wannabe writer who befriended Beth and taught her bad behavior (exemplified by a T-shirt that said "I Put Out"), and even went so far as to engage in an affair with Beth's father Jonathan to seduce him into tutoring her in creative writing.
Emelia displayed her breasts, in a brief scene in a convenience store, to demonstrate her wild personality. To quickly "prove" to the cash register store clerk that she was old enough (18 years old) to purchase a bottle of alcohol - without an ID, she flashed her boobs and asserted:
(Jessica Brown Findlay)
Bad Teacher (2011)
Director Jake Kasdan's irreverent and trite comedy, about adults behaving badly (following the success of The Hangover (2009) and Bridesmaids (2011)), won its three Teen Choice Award nominations - Choice Comedy Movie, Choice Actor (Timberlake), and Choice Actress (Diaz). It was a lesser variant of the popular and witty Bad Santa (2003) with Billy Bob Thornton - without its freshness and originality - and similar to Jennifer Aniston's take on Horrible Bosses (2011).
The foul-mouthed, rude R-rated farce featured Cameron Diaz as cynical, venal, and greedy Elizabeth Hulsey (a bitchy caricature of herself) - a vulgar, retiring 7th grade middle-school "bad teacher" in the Chicago area, who was a gold-digger, but then forced to continue her detested and despised career as an educator when her wealthy fiancee ditched her and cancelled wedding plans. She was notorious for boozing, smoking marijuana, and profusely speaking profanities.
She believed she could attract the attention of a fellow teacher - a rich and nerdy, bow-tie-wearing substitute teacher named Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake, Diaz' real-life ex), although she had to compete with his love interest rival, New Agey teacher Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch). Elizabeth schemed to fund-raise money (including a sexy car wash) to have her breasts enhanced with gigantic implants, wrongly believing that he preferred females with large boobs (because his ex-girlfriend was well-endowed).
During an overnight field trip, Elizabeth attempted to seduce Scott, and learned that his sexual turn-on (with their clothes on) came from dry-humping, and was then completely turned off by him. She also declined having expensive plastic surgery for her chest, and eventually became paired up with the gym teacher (Jason Segel).
Barely Legal (2011)
Asylum's female-centric, moronic, 90 minute sex comedy with a script by Naomi L. Selfmann (and directed by Jose Montesinos) contained a gender-twisting major premise: three attractive teenaged virginal females, all college freshmen, vowed to lose their virginities on their shared 18th birthdays. [Note: Other Asylum sex comedies of the same ilk included: 18-Year-Old Virgin (2009), Sex Pot (2009), #1 Cheerleader Camp (2010), MILF (2010), and later Bikini Spring Break (2012). This film was not to be confused with National Lampoon's Barely Legal (2003).]
The tagline expressed the plot precisely: "Presents Aren't the Only Thing They're Unwrapping." The three best friends, all born on the same day, were::
They planned to hold a pool party in Sue's home (a poolside giant mansion) in order to accomplish their goals - facing inevitably raunchy situations and unexpected hijinks. The film even featured a topless nun in a black leather bondage outfit while dominating a male submissive and offering advice about masturbation not being a sin.
By the conclusion of the party, none of the threesome had lost their virginity despite having sex with various persons, an animal and other objects.
Sister Theresa/Yasmin Nathalie (Former Penthouse Pet Erika Jordan)
Party Attendee/Melissa Jacobs (adult film star Melessia Hayden)
Kat (Maren Lewis)
Director Paul Feig's female-driven, R-rated raucous comedy (produced by Judd Apatow), with a script by star/SNL cast member Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, was an extremely successful film for Apatow. It earned both a Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy, and two Academy Award nominations: Best Supporting Actress (Melissa McCarthy) and Best Original Screenplay. Although it had no explicit nudity, the crude film was filled with non-stop risque jokes and some scatological humor (after unintentional food-poisoning).
The sassy story with a bachelorette-party-gone -awry subplot followed the misfortunes of single, mid-30s Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig), a failed bakery store owner (and now a miserable jewelry store clerk) who was asked to be one of the maids of honor at the wedding of Annie's best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) - marrying Annie's boyfriend Doug (Tim Heidecker). Fellow bridesmaids in the brilliant ensemble cast included Doug's crass sister Megan Price (Melissa McCarthy). Rivalry occurred as plans for the festive wedding went into full-gear between Annie and wealthy Helen Harris (Rose Byrne), the beautiful and sophisticated wife of Doug's boss.
One of the most talked-about scenes was of clumsy and awkward coitus between the romantically-unattached Annie and rude, dim-witted shallow, arrogant sex-buddy and playboy Ted (Jon Hamm), who admitted to her that she was his number three - or "third in line."
Bucky Larson: Born to Be A Star (2011)
Co-scripter and producer Adam Sandler teamed with director Tom Brady to create this universally-detested comedy, which acquired six Razzie award nominations (Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Swardson), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Ensemble, and Worst Prequel/Remake/Rip-Off/Sequel (imitating the porn industry classic Boogie Nights (1997) and A Star is Born)).
The crudely-dumb, mostly-unfunny R-rated showbiz sex comedy was about nerdy, innocent, buck-toothed and foolish Bucky Larson (Nick Swardson) who headed west from his small town in northern Iowa to become a porn star in Hollywood, after he inspiringly learned that his parents (Miriam Flynn and Edward Hermann) had been celebrities in the skin industry in the 1970s.
Although the naive and chaste Bucky lacked sexual knowledge (he had never masturbated), experience and macho qualities (with a nearly invisible, inadequate male member, known as his "equipment"), his porn footage (shot by washed up director Miles Deep (Don Johnson)) went viral on the Web, jealously angering others in the adult film world - mostly established rival porn star Dick Shadow (Stephen Dorff), who was endowed with a large penis.
The film's partial nudity was supplied by one of the film's minor actresses, Meredith Giangrande who starred as porn actress Blueberry in two XXX-rated filmed scenes: at a Dippers ice cream parlor, and in a desert scene as a sexy Indian princess.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
Canadian cult director David Cronenberg's fascinating historical adult drama was about sexual perversity, extra-marital sex, and treatment of severe mental illness. It was set in the early 20th century, at the time of two legendary psychologists: Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his father-figure and mentor, Viennese (Austrian) psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen).
The R-rated film opened with the transport of neurotic, 18 year-old, and well-educated Jewish-Russian patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), forcibly restrained in a carriage due to her hysteria. The troubled female was first seen overwrought, contorted, and suffering from violent and frightening seizures as she was driven to Jung's Burghölzli Clinic near Zurich in August of 1904 (the film covered a nine year span until 1913) and admitted as a patient. Jung discovered that the sex-crazed female had been sexual abused and humiliated by her angry father who habitually spanked her when she was naked (an act of violence that she claimed sexually excited her and made her wet). She expressed self-disgust: "I'm vile and filthy and corrupt."
The self-aware and intelligent Sabina became the catalyst between the two giants in the field of psychology and their varying techniques and viewpoints. Jung successfully used the controversial and untested treatment practices of 'psychanalysis' of Freud on her, but questioned Freud's inflexible and strict theory that every symptom had to be interpreted in sexual terms ("all neurosis is of exclusively sexual origin"), especially in Sabina's case. Jung was married and had an ever-pregnant and loyal wife Emma (Sarah Gadon). However, after the the virginal Sabina was cured of her seizures by Freud's method of counseling - with the experimental treatment method known as the "talking cure" - using free-association to bring out repressed feelings, she became his research assistant and his mistress in a long-term tortured love affair.
Her hidden sexual desires eventually emerged, during their S/M love affair in which Jung overstepped his professional boundaries, while mentoring her as a medical student. He was convinced to free himself and give himself up to pleasurable impulses ("Never repress anything") by dissolute psychoanalyst Dr. Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel), who himself was involved in a sex scandal and was drug-addicted. Spielrein made overt sexual advances and came onto Jung with a kiss, and then explained: "Don't you think there's something male in every woman and something female in every man?" Gross urged Jung to accept her proposition and give in to his urges: "I can't understand what you're waiting for. Just take her to some secluded spot and thrash her to within an inch of her life. That's clearly what she wants. How can you deny her such a simple pleasure?"
Sabina lost her virginity to Jung with the bloody rupture of her hymen during their first love-making. Although Jung felt deceitful for cheating on his wife, he couldn't stop his transgressions after the masochistic woman told him: "I want you to be ferocious. I want you to punish me." Sabina was forcibly bound, and spanked/whipped by Jung with a leather belt. The situation became scandalous when anonymous letters surfaced about their affair, and Jung became painfully conflicted (he confessed to Sabina: "I made a stupid mistake"), and tried to deny their sexual relationship. He was forced to admit he could now only love Sabina "as your physician." However, he resumed whipping her in 1910 after they reunited, while he was critiquing her dissertation ("I'll start gently ripping you to shreds").
Eventually, she moved away to Vienna, studied under Freud (who suffered a major split with Jung), married a kindly Russian-Jewish doctor and became pregnant. In the final lines of dialogue in the film, Jung admitted to Sabina in 1913 that he regretted not fathering a child with her, although he had taken on another mistress by then: "My love for you was the most important thing in my life. For better or worse, it made me understand who I am...Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable just to be able to go on living."
The end credits stated that Sabina returned to Russia as one of its first female psychoanalysts, where she trained a number of the most distinguished analysts of the new Soviet Union, before finally returning to practice medicine in her native town. A widow by 1941, she came to a tragic end when she and her two daughters were taken by Nazi occupying forces to a local synagogue and shot. Jung eventually became the world's leading psychologist. He outlived his wife Emma and his mistress Toni Wolff, and died peacefully in 1961.
Desire (2011, Fr.) (aka Q)
Deborah Revy starred in this French erotic drama by controversial filmmaker, writer/director Laurent Bouhnik. She portrayed a 20 year-old enigmatic female beauty named Cecile, who symbolized desire and unleashed sexual urges whenever she appeared. The film's tagline in French was: "Amours, desirs, et complications..." (translated "Love, Desire, and Complications").
The film opened with credits, accompanied by waist-down views of anonymous females as they group-showered and casually chatted about men and sex. (The shower sequence, with more revealing headless body shots, was reprised throughout the film.)
This arty and graphic French film featured abundant full-frontal nudity and seemingly unsimulated sex from its great-looking cast members, as it explored the role of sexuality (in a non-pornographic manner) among modern European adults living in a French coastal town (with the current economic crisis as a backdrop). The young inhabitants were aimless and uncertain about their future employment prospects, while they drifted about searching for love and romance. Young Cecile had just suffered the death of her father in a hospital. With a lustful desire for sex, she found peace from her underlying sadness through random sexual encounters with the lives of many of the film's characters, both male and female.
Part of the story followed the exploits of Alice (Helene Zimmer), who lived at home with her repressively conservative parents, and kept secret her non-committal boyfriend Matt (Gowan Didi), a local garage mechanic facing tough times.
There were both heterosexual and lesbian sex scenes, and instances of fellatio, cunnilingus, and female masturbation.
Cecile with Alice
Friends With Benefits (2011)
Director Will Gluck's modern romantic-sex comedy capitalized on the premise of sex benefits (without love) between friends (similar to the earlier less-fulfilling, cliched film No Strings Attached (2011) see below) - involving the two stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. It was a deconstructing updating of the theme of When Harry Met Sally... (1989) that sex between friends ("sleeping together. But it's just sex") inevitably leads to emotional complications and attachments.
The chick-flick styled movie was filled with fast-delivered, witty dialogue between the two protagonists, who often flirtatiously responded to each other with tart, playful banter:
The two platonic friends tempted each other when they agreed to have sexual relations after he took a job at GQ in NYC. They decided to physically gratify themselves without any commitment or strings attached ("two people should be able to have sex the way they play tennis"). However, as expected, emotional feelings began to creep into their 'strictly-physical' relationship of casual sexual romps, and both were powerless to resist a sappy happily-ever-after ending (after two flash-mob scenes).
Jamie (Mila Kunis) with
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
This mystery thriller was director David Fincher's US remake of the original Swedish-language film of the same name, made in 2009. Both films were based upon the 2005 novel by Swedish author/journalist Stieg Larsson. In this more recent variation, Rooney Mara starred as emotionally-scarred, punkish computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (originally played by Noomi Rapace) opposite Daniel Craig as Millennium magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist. He was wrongly-accused of libel by crooked businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström (Ulf Friberg).
Before Blomkvist was to be jailed, he and Salander teamed up to investigate the disappearance and assumed murder of businessman Henrik Vanger's (Christopher Plummer) grand-niece named Harriet - 40 years earlier. During their pursuit of the case, they discovered that various Vanger family members, all anti-Semitic, had committed a series of murders of other young Jewish women, but that Harriet (Joely Richardson), a victim of sexual abuse, had been smuggled out and was still alive.
In addition, Salander was subjected to savage abuse by her newly-appointed guardian, lawyer Nils Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen), who raped her. She fought back as she was stripped, gagged, and tied to a bed face-down. She sought revenge by videotaping the rape, torturing him and dildo-raping him, and tattoo-branding him on his chest that he was a sick rapist. Also, during their work together that brought Wennerstrom to justice, she became the lover of Blomkvist, revealing her nipple rings (she had them pierced in real-life) when she removed her top before having sex with him. In the end, she was dismayed when he was reunited with his longtime lover and business partner Erika Berger (Robin Wright).
Hall Pass (2011)
In this inane Farrelly Brothers' raunchy, gross and irreverent comedy, there was scatological toilet humor, jokes about adult masturbation, penis envy, full-frontal male nudity (from African-American Thaddeus Rahming), frequent sex talk and sexual innuendo, and even more.
It was mostly about the theme of infidelity, involving two middle-aged, adolescent-acting suburban husbands - two best friends - who were given a one week reprieve - or "hall pass" - from their marital vows from their long-suffering spouses (who also took advantage of the pact):
In the sole breast-flashing scene, attractive coffee shop waitress Leigh (Nicky Whelan) untied and lowered the straps on her colorful dress, to reveal her perfect breasts to Rick, who was muttering something about how he shouldn't be doing what he was doing, and talking about the commitments he had - followed by his one word response: "Wow!" She stepped forward and assured him that they could enjoy a one-time fling:
She opened his shirt, smiled, and kissed his bare chest, but he suddenly cautioned and rebuffed her: "I'm sorry. I can't do this. I can't do this. I'm sorry." As she retied her straps, she quipped: "Your wife didn't give you a hallway permission slip, did she?"
Kill the Irishman (2011)
Writer/director Jonathan Hensleigh's crime drama was inspired by Rick Porello's true crime account "To Kill The Irishman: The War That Crippled The Mafia" in 1998.
The biopic told about the turf war in the summer of 1976 in Cleveland, between union rep and defiant Irish mobster Danny Greene (Ray Stevenson) and the Italian Mafia.
Greene, known as "The Man The Mob Couldn't Kill," rose to power as he successfully challenged all of the local syndicates and adversaries within the criminal underworld.
In one of the film's sexiest scenes, Ellie O'Hara (Laura Ramsey) offered Greene a drink from her refrigerator, while she slipped away and then returned to the living room from her bedroom. She entered through beaded curtains and offered herself to him in granny panties and a open silk robe displaying her breasts.
Killer Joe (2011)
Director William Friedkin's ultra-violent dark comedy was described as "A Totally Twisted, Deep-Fried, Texas Redneck Trailer Park Murder Story." The lurid, sexually-twisted film contained a number of scenes of physical nudity (including topless dancers in a strip-club) and love-making between the two principals, and a climactic (and controversial) brutal scene involving a fried chicken drumstick. Undoubtedly, these scenes contributed to the film's NC-17 rating by the MPAA (although there was also an R-rated version).
It told the sleazy tale of scruffy, white trash 21 year-old son Chris Smith (Emil Hirsch) living in a trailer park on the outskirts of Dallas County who was indebted to drug lord G-Man (Danny Epper). His alcoholic mother Adele (Julia Adams) had stolen the cocaine he was supposed to sell. He and his bearded, failed patriarchal father Ansel (Thomas Haden Church) hired menacing yet neat, unpredictable and polished West Dallas hit-man/cop-detective "Killer Joe" Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to murder Ansel's ex-wife who had a hefty $50,000 life insurance policy. It was a money-making scheme, orchestrated so that the $50,000 proceeds would benefit Chris' younger oddball teenaged sister Dottie Smith (Juno Temple) with peroxide blonde hair. As part of the deal (with the devil), the damaged and innocent Dottie was offered up to swaggering Killer Joe as sexual collateral rather than a cash fee of $25,000.
Ansel's slatternly new wife was Sharla Smith (Gina Gershon), who appeared naked from the waist down (with a merkin) to answer the door when Chris arrived. After the killing was committed (and Adele's body was set on fire in a car to make it look accidental), it was learned - in a twist - that the insurance claim paid Adele's ex-husband Rex (Sean O'Hara), not Dottie. The payout was a check for $100,000 (accidental death paid double). The plot to kill Chris' mother was devised by Sharla so that she could run-off with Adele's ex-boyfriend Rex.
In the film's lewdest scene, Joe humiliated double-dealing Sharla by first punching her in the face. Then, he told her: "I'll be your boyfriend just for a little while." He forced the battered and bloody woman to simulate oral sex ("Suck this!") - she was to 'pleasure' a K Fried C chicken drumstick that he held in front of his crotch (a phallic substitute), as he acted out having an orgasm. Joe also announced that his "retainer" - Dottie, now belonged to him, since he wouldn't be collecting cash for his services due to the mix-up with the insurance company.
When Chris arrived, he announced his intention to run away with Dottie and escape to Peru. When they were all seated at the dinner table, Joe announced his engagement to Dottie, prompting Chris to attack him. Dottie asserted herself by picking up a gun and firing - one shot killed Chris, and another mortally-wounded Ansel. She was about to fire at Joe, as she announced she was pregnant with his baby.
Main Club Girl
The Ledge (2011)
Writer/director Matthew Chapman's poorly-reviewed dramatic thriller was mostly told via flashback, in its tale of cocky ladies-man Gavin Nichols (Charlie Hunnam) and SF hotel manager, perched on a ledge 20 stories off the ground and about to commit suicide. He was coaxed back by hostage negotiator Hollis Lucetti (Terrence Howard) with his own family problems, and then the plot revealed a love triangle, marital infidelity and revenge.
Gavin's new neighbor was a religiously-zealous, dogmatic Christian fundamentalist named Joe (Patrick Wilson) who frequently bullied his shy and reserved wife Shana (Liv Tyler) with verbal abuse, causing her to feel guilty. She was a college student working part-time at Gavin's hotel. An avowed atheist, Gavin lived with his gay best friend Chris (Christopher Gorham), causing Joe to misinterpret Gavin's sexual preference and promise to pray for their "abomination" against God.
Gavin soon engaged in extra-marital flirtation and seduction (although he originally had cruel intentions) with the sweet-natured Shana, beginning with lunches, riverside walks, and roof-top philosophizing sessions, to liberate her from Joe's oppression.
They eventually become sexually intimate (and Gavin truly fell in love with Shana) - and then Joe discovered his wife's infidelity and sought diabolical revenge - culminating in Gavin hovering on the ledge.
Controversial Danish writer/director Lars von Trier's haunting, depressing and nihilistic psychological disaster film brought its star Kirsten Dunst a Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Trier's own bout with severe depression in 2006 helped him to channel his feelings into this bleak independent arthouse film.
In the dazzling, stylized, slow-motion 8 minute-prologue to the film, set to the funereal prelude of Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, the world came to a cataclysmic end - an apocalyptic preview of what would ultimately happen.
In the first half of the film (titled "Justine"), bride Justine (Kirsten Dunst) was celebrating her wedding to kind-hearted Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) at the palatial Swedish country estate-castle of her older sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who was married to her rich, snobbish brother-in-law, amateur astronomer John (Kiefer Sutherland). Also present were the sisters' divorced parents: drunken and womanizing Dexter (John Hurt) and disdainful, acid-tongued, emotionally-distant Gaby (Charlotte Rampling). Justine was unhappily moody and suffering from crippling clinical depression, causing her to leave the awkward festivities of the lavish wedding reception and take a bath. With personal melancholia and violent mood swings, Justine wandered off onto the grounds of the mansion. (Later in the film, she laid naked by a bubbling stream next to an 18-hole golf course).
Justine also repudiated and refused to make love to her new husband on their wedding night, and instead had sex with one of her boss' young associates, his nephew Tim (Brady Corbet), thus breaking up her marriage. She also jeopardized her employment with her advertising executive boss Jack (Stellan Skarsgard) when she insulted him and called him repellent.
In the second half of the film (titled "Claire"), the mysterious, newly-discovered green rogue planet Melancholia was on a crash-course towards Earth, and by film's end had obliterated the planet. In comparision to her hysterical sister and her suicidal husband, the afflicted Justine was calm about the impending catastrophe: "Life is only on Earth, and not for long." She calmly assured Claire and her young son: "Hold my hand. Close your eyes."
No Strings Attached (2011)
Director Ivan Reitman's low-key, contemporary romantic comedy had the same worn-out premise of a film later in the year, Friends With Benefits (2011) - see above, about a sex-only partnership of a hooked-up pair who didn't want to fall in love. This idea was also seen in the long-running TV show Seinfeld, Knocked Up (2007), He's Just Not That Into You (2009), and Hall Pass (2011). The film - originally titled F--k Buddies - even had a similar thematic tagline: "Friendship Has Its Benefits." Although there was considerable sexual content in the film (including unfiltered raunchy jokes about cunnilingus and fingering), profanity and drug references, it was devoid of explicit nudity.
Dr. Emma K. Kurtzman and Adam Franklin (Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher) starred as long-time acquaintances who met again years later. She was a hard-driving medical resident employed at an LA hospital, while he was the production assistant for a Glee-like musical TV show, and upon their first contact had sex with each other.
Too busy for a real committed relationship or to fall in love in an old-fashioned way, the smart and independent Emma proposed (a twist on gender roles) that Adam become her friendly, convenient, romping sexual partner for consequence-free, casual coitus: "What I need is someone who's gonna be in my bed at 2 am who I don't have to lie to, or eat breakfast with...Do you wanna do this?...Use each other for sex, at all hours of the day and night. Nothing else...Good" She also made it clear that sweet talk, Valentine cards, cuddling (spooning), and other romantic endearments were forbidden. Adam later bragged about their 'no strings attached' relationship: "We're sex friends...Friends with benefits. F--k buddies," but it was clear that he would persistently push for love, exemplified when he presented her at work with a "Congrats" balloon after sex: "You did a good job so I thought you deserved a balloon."
During one drunken love episode, Adam shook his penis at Emma, who later described the incident:
It was entirely predictable, formulaic, and cliched what would occur in the scripted conclusion, in this sub-genre of rom-coms (When Harry Met Sally... (1989)).
Dr. Emma K. Kurtzman
with Adam Franklin
The Roommate (2011)
Danish director Christian E. Christiansen's slow-moving PG-13 psychological thriller was a remake (unofficial) of the sexier and more effective Single White Female (1992). Its unsuspenseful, lukewarm, and cliched premise was about two college dorm roommates and the unhealthy (ultimately violent) relationship that developed between them:
This routine and bland teen flick's sparse sex scenes included a Hitchcock-ripped off shower scene, and a girl-on-girl lesbian kiss between Rebecca and Sara's lesbian friend Irene Crew (Danneel Harris) (a "trashy party whore").
In the end, there was a violent confrontational breakdown and catfight between the dorm-mates. Rebecca met her fateful end when Sara gorily stabbed her in the back with a box-cutter and uttered: "You were never my friend."
Irene (Danneel Harris)
Shame (2011, UK)
This dark NC-17 rated sex addiction film from British director Steve McQueen was a powerful drama about NYC businessman Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), who suffered from a serious problem or obsession - with sex. Although the film was bold, it never portrayed pornographic sex, and the sex itself was quite joyless, shameful and self-destructive.
The graphic yet respectful unsexy film (with full-frontal nudity) examined his self-loathing, shame, compulsive masturbation, flirtation with homosexuality, and addiction to Internet pornography (even at his place of work), including private web-cam chat sessions, and perusal of hardcore images (in magazines and videos).
In the provocative psychological drama, he struggled with his own issues at the same time that his wayward younger sister, Sissy Sullivan (Carey Mulligan), unexpectedly came to live with him. He came upon her the first time when she was fully nude in a shower scene - she was viewed through a bathroom mirror in the middle of the screen. A professional musician from the same troubled family, she confronted him about his problems ("I'm trying to help you...We're family, we're meant to look after each other"), and upset his need for privacy, while being emotionally damaged herself (and attempting suicide).
Numerous females engaged him for quick, mechanical-styled, animalistic sex and he would always oblige to desperately perform carnal acts:
Late Night Lover
Silent But Deadly (2011, Can.)
This was a cheaply-made, independent, slasher-horror-comedy by director Stephen Scott (his feature film directorial debut). Its tagline was: "It's the Quiet Ones You Have to Watch Out For..." The film was intended to spoof the classic slasher horror films of the 1970s-1980s. Although filmed in 2008, it was finally released for showings in Canada in late 2011.
It was about a series of gruesome murders by mysterious, goat-loving serial killer Thomas Capper (Jason Mewes) in a small Southern rural town. The killings were highlighted by gory special effects, including:
The incongruous film starred inept dwarf Sheriff Shelby (Jordan Prentice) (who detested the term "midget"), who was accompanied by his black deputy Jimbo (Benz Antoine) while investigating the series of murders. They were joined by documentarian film maker and blonde videographer Sandra Gibson (Kim Poirier). To spice things up, the horror-comedy was peppered with gratuitous topless nudity provided by Jackie (Nicole Arbour), who was acting in a Hollywood movie that was being filmed in the town.
Sandra flirted with the crew's cinematographer named Bobby (Marc Hickok), telling him that "size matters" (referring to her camera's condenser microphone), and later that night joined him at a campfire. After they strolled away, she pushed him into a lake to confuse him:
Sandra lowered her tank top's straps and slipped her blouse over her head, and then began unbuckling her pants. He responded: "Hey now!" She tantalized him further by slowly stripping out of her red thong panties as he silently whispered to himself and prayed skyward: 'Thank you.' She joined him for a nude embrace and kiss after wading into the water.
Anya (Vanessa Burns)
The Skin I Live In (2011, Sp.) (aka La Piel Que Habito)
Celebrated writer/director Pedro Almodovar's controversial, boundary-pushing dramatic horror-thriller was accused of being perverse and Frankenstein-esque. Its bizarre and kinky tale involved kidnapping, graphic rape, sex and nudity, burn victims, bloody murder, pill-popping, and a forced sex-change operation. There were references to at least two other similar films: Eyes Without a Face (1959, Fr.), and Boxing Helena (1993).
The film's main character was a renowned yet alienated plastic surgeon named Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), who had developed a new super-strong, durable artificial skin which was impervious to burns, insect bites and diseases. [The skin was named GAL, in memory of his deceased wife.] The scientific community frowned upon his 'illegal' tests and experiments. Within his secluded estate, he secretly kept captive a beautiful young female named Vera Cruz (Elena Anaya), often wearing an odd, flesh-colored body stocking. She was locked in a room and fed via meals delivered on a dumbwaiter, where he conducted experiments upon her and remotely monitored her through closed-circuit TV. During various sessions, he grafted new pieces of skin onto her nearly-perfect body, to transform her into an exact duplicate of Gal.
The twisted and outrageous story ultimately revealed, in a lengthy flashback, how Robert's wife Gal had been disfigured after being burned in a car crash, and when she saw her charred face in a mirror reflection, she committed suicide. His beloved daughter, male-phobic Norma (Blanca Suarez) was traumatized by the incident and eventually killed herself after an attempted rape by pill-popping Vicente (Jan Cornet). Robert's real mother Marilia (Marisa Paredes), now his loyal servant-maid, had also borne a sadistic, criminal half-brother named Zeca (Roberto Alamo). She admitted about both Robert and Zeca: "Their fathers were very different but they were both born insane. It's my fault."
While Robert was away from the mansion, Zeca (wearing a tiger-costume during Carnival) saw Vera and appeared to recognize her as his former lover Gal (with whom he once had an affair). He savagely raped Vera, and upon Robert's return, Zeca was murdered. It was then revealed in the convoluted plot that over a six year period, 'Vera' had been a captive of the diabolical Robert. He had kidnapped Vicente, and transformed Vicente (through sex-change surgery) into 'Vera,' making him a replica of his deceased wife Gal. In the startling conclusion, after making love to Robert, Vera shot and killed Robert and then Marilia. The last line was Vera's: "Soy Vicente."
Vera Cruz (Elena Anaya)
Raped by Zeca
Robert (Antonio Banderas)
Sleeping Beauty (2011, Australia)
This stark, unrated erotic, arthouse drama from writer/director Julia Leigh (her debut film) was based upon a 1961 Japanese novella (The House of the Sleeping Beauties), although with a reversed viewpoint. The film highlighted the practice of somnophilia - the arousal or stimulation of sexual urges via the presence of an absolutely submissive individual - a sleeping or unconscious person.
Petite, porcelain-skinned and sexy redhead Emily Browning starred in this fetishistic, naughty sex drama as a young, risk-taking university student named Lucy. The cash-hungry college coed worked a number of odd dead-end jobs until she eventually joined up to work freelance in an exclusive, high-class brothel as a quasi-prostitute. In many creepy, voyeuristic scenes of debauchery, she professionally serviced perverted older male clients who paid to be with "sleeping beauties," although one of the ground-rules disallowed penetration (she was instructed: "Your vagina is a temple"). In most cases, the ingenue was drugged to pass out or sleep, and lie next to the elderly gents.
At first, she was hired to offer silver-service waitress-hosting at a formal dinner party, under the supervision of madam Clara (Rachael Blake). She wore white lingerie and worked with her breasts' nipples barely visible and peeking above her white bra, alongside other older female workers who wore black, breast-baring, cut-out bras. During her first evening of waitressing, Lucy was instructed to wear lipstick with the color matching her labia. She and the others served caviar, quail and truffles to guests at a black-tie private dinner.
Then she was offered a more lucrative opportunity as a passively 'sleeping escort'. She was subjected to drinking drugged tea in a country mansion, to cause her to fall asleep so that the male customers could cuddle next to her, fondle and caress her body. As she slept, men who spent the night with her exhibited both tenderness, sadistic abuse (cigarette burns), and carelessness (dropping her).
In the conclusion of the film, she had become curious about what actually occurred while she was asleep, so she surreptitiously brought a camera with her to record what was happening. As the film ended, her male sleep partner intentionally overdosed on the tea mixture and died lying next to her. When she awoke, she began screaming.
The film’s concluding shot was grainy surveillance video footage of Lucy asleep next to the dead man, filmed with her own camera.
Straw Dogs (2011)
Sam Peckinpah's brutal and violent film (forty years earlier) was remade by film-critic-turned director Rod Lurie. The remake was based on the 1971 film, and as before on Gordon Williams' novel "The Siege at Trencher's Farm."
It was now US-centric - made contemporary and transposed from rural England to the Deep South (Blackwater, Mississippi, a place echoing the Iraq War contracting company) where the married couple had moved to escape from Hollywood:
They were out of place living in her late father's farmhouse (in her hometown), where their values of education and non-interest in sports (football), drinking beer, hunting (and guns), country music and God put them at odds with the brutish locals. He was working on a feature-film screenplay about the Siege of Stalingrad.
As in the original, the tempting and seductive wife ran afoul of the local, lustful hillbilly barn roof-layers, including hulking high-school ex-boyfriend Charlie (Alexander Skarsgard). In the original film, the workmen peeping in on the wife, but in this film, Amy defiantly taunted the workers by going topless (although unseen off-screen). Some of the newer implications of this film, unlike Peckinpah's more ambiguous version, was that Amy was purposefully asking for it ("Are you saying I'm asking for it?" she quizzed her husband).
The climactic scene of the laborers' home invasion was a shot-for-shot remake of the original, culminating in Amy's sexual attack and rape. As in the original, the roofers lured David away from the house on a hunting trip, and then returned to the house for the disturbing (rather than titillating) rape. In this scene (different from the original), actress Kate Bosworth kept her bra on, and her nudity was shielded from the camera. When the rapist climaxed, David was simultaneously shooting a deer in the woods. The film ended with David's base, savage and crude revenge upon the perpetrators, as expected.
Take This Waltz (2011, Canada)
Director Sarah Polley's naturally-acted R-rated feature film, her second attempt at writing and directing, was a romantic drama about cheating, flirtation and the temptation to have an affair. Its tagline described its plot: "A funny, bittersweet tale of love." It had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in the fall of 2011, but didn't have its theatrical debut in US theatres until late June 2012.
Moody, impulsive, emotionally-anguished and immature 28 year-old writer Margot (Michelle Williams) was in a boring, sexless, unfulfilling yet stable five-year marriage to anal-retentive yet affable husband Lou Rubin (Seth Rogen), a chicken cookbook writer - they lived in a Toronto suburban home. Their relationship was based upon infantile cutesy baby talk and childish passive-aggressive private games (e.g., he often threw cold water on her during showers). On a work trip to Nova Scotia, Margot met handsome, free-wheeling, struggling artist Daniel (Luke Kirby), a rickshaw owner who turned out to be her across-the-street neighbor. When she admitted: "I'm married," he responded: "Oh, that's too bad."
In the film's most sexually-tinged and striking scene of verbal seduction (with clothes on) in a cafe over martinis, Daniel flirtatiously tempted her with the promise of romantic exhilaration, using graphic sweet-talk. She initiated the conversation when she asked him:
As a follow-up, she told him that she would be free for a date (and a kiss) in about 30 years. The film's title was derived from Leonard Cohen's song of the same name, heard when Margot and Daniel soon had sex together in his sun-drenched loft space (on a bed, in a chair, etc.) during a risque arty montage sequence.
The film's most crucial moment occurred during an un-self-conscious, full-frontal nude shower scene following a water-aerobics aqua-fitness class at the local pool. While showering with lots of female body types, sexually-straying Margot listened as her happily-married, recovering alcoholic sister-in-law Geraldine (Sarah Silverman) commented frankly and wisely on the inevitability of domestic boredom, and the way female bodies aged: "New things become old."
The Scene of Verbal Seduction
Margot with Daniel
30 Minutes or Less (2011)
Director Ruben Fleischer's adult-oriented, R-rated action comedy was filled with profanity, violence, drug-use, and some partial nudity.
The main storyline (eerily reminiscent of an actual incident that occurred in 2003 in Pennsylvania) of the fast-paced heist comedy was set in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It told about an overly-ambitious plot to raise money (to hire a contract killer to commit a murder in order to claim an inheritance) by kidnapping a complete stranger - a pizza delivery-man named Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), who had difficulty fulfilling his employer's motto of "30 minutes or less" delivery.
They planned to strap a bomb to the abductee's chest, and force him to rob a bank for them within ten hours. The victimized Nick pleaded for his schoolteacher ex-friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) to help him, and of course, things spun out of control.
The scene most talked about regarding sexiness and gratuitous nudity was set in a stripclub, where topless lapdancer Juicy (Bijanca Kajich) performed for one of the bad-guy delinquents Dwayne King (Danny McBride) who was plotting the heist. As he confided in her and complained about his "asshole" lottery-rich father, the Major (Fred Ward) who had wasted his $10 million dollar winnings (and "burned through" most of Dwayne's future inheritance through "senseless spending"), she gyrated on his lap, and comfortingly offered her breasts for his enjoyment.
She opened her top for him to ogle at her breasts as she stroked them, and suggested a hit man for him - for $100,000, while also placing his hands on her breasts to embolden him:
Young Adult (2011)
Juno Oscar-winning scribe Diablo Cody provided the script for this dark, anti-romantic comedy by director Jason Reitman.
The unlikely heroine of the tale was Mavis Gary/Crane (Charlize Theron in a go-for-broke performance), a rude, judgmental, unlikable, shallow and acerbic divorcee, who also happened to be the ghost-writer of a number of young adult books, although the popularity of her cookie-cutter teen-book series was waning. While struggling to write the final installment of the soon-to-be defunct books, she was often unapologetic about her behavior, self-absorbed, and frequently and excessively drunk.
After receiving a gloating emailed baby announcement from her HS boyfriend's wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser), the selfish, narcissistic, aging "psychotic prom queen bitch" left the big city of Minneapolis to return to her small hometown of Mercury - delusionally hoping to reclaim her small-town HS crown - and connect with (and possibly rescue?) her happily-married HS sweetheart, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) - the father of the newborn daughter! [Later in the film, she shockingly confessed to everyone that she had been pregnant with Buddy's child at age 20 before she miscarried at about 12 weeks.]
While in town, she became acquainted with another former HS classmate, nerdy, handicapped (with a walking stick), embittered and lonely Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), now a local restaurant's bookkeeper. [Years earlier, he had been beaten up with a crowbar by jocks who thought he was gay, and had acquired the nickname "the hate crime guy." He angrily told Mavis later in the film: "Those jocks that you used to blow shattered my legs, mangled my brains, and mutilated my dick, then left me for dead."] When she first ran into him at Woody's bar, she didn't recognize his name, even though they had lockers next to each other for four years. He warned her that her desire to win the married Buddy back was foolish: "Buddy Slade has a life."
Mavis found herself oddly matched with him, as he became her brutally-honest, truth-telling confidant and drinking partner ("You’re f--king mentally ill") who could see her real shortcomings. Finally feeling vulnerable after an embarrassing incident at the baby-naming ceremony, she drove over to Matt's house:
She stripped down to her pantyhose and plastic breast cups, and asked to wear Matt's shirt (to replace her wine-stained white silk blouse and skirt). She requested: "Hide me" and he hugged her, before they had sex together on his bed.
(Charlize Theron) with
Matt (Patton Oswalt)
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Index to All Decades, Years and Features
- History of Sex in CinemaA year-by-year look at the films, scandals and changing laws.
- History of Erotic FilmsEverything you ever wanted to know from the first sex symbol to the birth of porn.
- Movies That Challenged RatingsA ranked movie list of 10 milestone sexy films that challenged the ratings.
- Sexy Hollywood BombshellsA brief history of Hollywood's sirens including Monroe, Mansfield, and Mamie.
- Top 100 Controversial MoviesMany of these included controversial sex and violence.
- Sexiest Films of All-TimeOver 75 of the hottest films in movie history.