This is a rather amusing and sweet little movie, that manages to handle its not so much talked about subject in a respectful but yet at the same time entertaining way.

And that probably is the foremost reason why the movie works out; It manages to be an entertaining one all throughout, without ever ridiculing its subject, or falling for any sentimental trappings. It would had been so easy for the movie to turn it either into a completely ridicules comedy, or into a very sentimental and heavy movie to watch. I do believe it finds a right balance somewhere in the middle but at the same time I also still do wish they would had done more with all of it.

You feel that a different director and writer, with some experience in the genre, could had explored some more interesting grounds. I feel that this particular movie too often remains on the surface and safe side of things. At times it teases that it will be turning into something more profound and thought provoking even but it just never quite pushes through. It for instance hardly ever touches upon the sex versus religion aspect, even though the movie often appears to be heading that way with its story. What else could have been the point of the priest character, played by William H. Macy and his wavy hair? It just never goes that way and whenever something starts to develop into more serious and dramatic, it almost immediately drops its subject. I know this wasn't the type of approach the movie was going for but some more drama and emotional involvement wouldn't have harmed the movie.

Of course it's still more than just a simple sex movie though. On first sight, that's all the movie its story concerns but as the movie progresses it becomes obvious to you that there is far more behind it. It's simply just a way for the main character, who spends most of his life in an iron lung, to connect with women on more than just a psychological level and to grow further as a man, despite of his condition. In that regard you also get and grow a better understanding of what a sex therapist does and can mean to a severely handicapped person and how these 'sessions' could help this person to grow and progress as a human being.

The movie also definitely gets made interesting and entertaining thanks to its performances. Even though the main character in this can basically only move his head, he still comes across as a very lively and colorful person, who mostly for most part carries the movie. So big kudos to John Hawkes for that, even though Helen Hunt is still getting most praise and attention, mainly because her role is arguable an even tougher one. She has to get naked and I mean really naked, a lot and play a character that's somewhat hard to understand and get into at first, for its crowd. But she manages to charm you over and at the same time you also helps you to grow a better understanding of her, mainly because Hunt manages to put a very human face on her character. In some ways her 'journey' and story is just as interesting as Hawkes' character.

The movie as it is, is a perfectly cute and entertaining one! No need to make this movie bigger than it is though. It's nothing too provoking or groundbreaking, despite of its unique and maybe even somewhat controversial main subject. But that's of course still not taking away anything from its quality though.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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