Sex and Death 101

"OK"

Sex and Death 101 Review


Daniel Waters has one of Hollywood's most intriguing resumes. After writing his first film, Heathers, Waters trolled through the Hollywood meat grinder, writing some of the '90s worst big-budget movies: Demolition Man, The Adventures of Ford Fairline, and the widely-razzed Hudson Hawk.

Waters dropped out of Hollywood for nearly a decade before reviving himself to write and direct the largely forgotten Happy Campers. After another six year hiatus he returned again with Sex and Death 101, which has the distinction of reuniting Waters with Heathers star Winona Ryder... who's been through her own travails, as well.

Sex and Death 101 gives a man named Rod (Simon Baker) who receives an email that lists not just every women he's ever slept with, but every woman he will sleep with. Turns out there's 101 names on the list, which is disconcerting, since Rod is set to be married to #29 on the list in a matter of weeks. He dismisses it as a joke but ends up "accidentally" doing a stripper at his bachelor party. The marriage is soon terminated, and Rod ends up with #31 on the list (a centerfold who loves pudding), and it's downhill from there.

Rod is roped into a pristine white chamber where holy types explain that this is all a goof-up on behalf of "the machine," urging Rod to destroy the list. Think he does? Well, would you? Naturally, the list begins to take control Rod's life. He can't meet a woman without checking to see if her name's on the list. When he tries to "spite" the list and develop a relationship with a lovely veterinarian (Leslie Bibb), it doesn't work out. The list can't be beat.

As for the death side of the title, that comes into play when #101 approaches, and it's revealed the name is the real moniker of a serial killer nicknamed "Death Nell" (Ryder), who sleeps with men then offs them. Somehow these two fates are intetwrined, and we'll find out how in the end.

It all sounds better on paper than it really is, as Sex and Death 101 soon devolves into the adolescent fantasy that any movie based on a guy sleeping with 101 girls inevitably becomes. It all plays out like an excuse for Waters to put his pecadilloes on film (which, in a making-of documentary, he basically admits).

Maybe the biggest problem is that it's just not possible to feel sorry for the poor, poor hero, who stumbles through encounter after encounter with beautiful women, then discards them and crosses them off his list. The whole Death Nell subplot is underdone, and the whole affair just feels kind of slapped together with tape and spit. Waters' ham-fisted naming of his characters -- there's a pair of lesbians named Miss Kidd and Miss Wint -- is about as erudite as the movie gets, and the monologues near the truly odd ending make you wonder whether Waters had an extreme fever when he was finishing up the script. If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if this exercise in perversion hadn't been made by another Waters. John, I mean.

That said, it's always fun to see Winona Ryder in a movie again.

The DVD includes commentary from Waters and a making-of featurette.

You get my meaning.



Sex and Death 101

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd February 2008

Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Production compaines: Avenue Pictures Productions, Sandbar Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Lizzie Friedman,

Starring: as Roderick Blank, as Death Nell, as Fiona Wormwood, as Dr. Miranda Storm, Skyler James Sandak as Roderick Blank Jr., as Cynthia Rose, as Bambi, as Thumper (#64), Retta as Ethel Walters (#100), Jessica Kiper as Precious / Carlotta Valdes (#30)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.