Fri, Jan 16, 2009 - Page 16 News List

FILM REVIEW: Chilean spice

Director Boris Quercia’s ‘Sex With Love’ is rough around the edges, but with so much sex, in so many different ways, and so much laughter, it’s hard to dislike

By Ian Bartholomew  /  STAFF REPORTER

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meets the Carry On gang gives some idea as to the character of this rough diamond of a Chilean flick that was first released in 2003 and which has found its way circuitously through several minor film festivals to Taiwan.

Lovely young schoolteacher Luisa is eager to introduce sex education into her classes of youngsters and so brings parents together to discuss this project. It turns out that the adults are in need of sex education as much as the children. The couples who meet in the class discussion group all have their own romantic and sexual problems, not least Luisa herself, who is two-timing her artist boyfriend with the much older Jorge, a prominent sexologist and the father of one of her students.

The set up is obviously absurd from the get go, but the rumbustious and raunchy delight that director Boris Quercia dives into the project carries the audience along. And quite apart from the sex, and there is a lot of it, Sex With Love (Sexo con Amor) has heart. On the fringes of the sexual comedy are the children (Luisa’s students), who stand as a constant reminder of what may happen when adult lust gets out of hand.

Quercia doesn’t try to make any big points, but is happy to explore sex as something that can be both wonderful, especially when mixed with a modicum of love, or hilarious, when lust appears as a ridiculous bug-eyed and salivating monster. There is a refreshing frankness in dealing both with the beauty and ugliness of the human body, as Querica allows his camera to linger lovingly (and lustfully) over buttocks, crotches and cleavages of an absolutely gorgeous cast of women, but never airbrushes away the imperfections, from moles, to body hair, to pubic crabs.

FESTIVAL NOTES:

Sex With Love (Sexo con amor)

DIRECTED BY:Boris Quercia

STARRING:Sigrid Alegria (Luisa), Alvaro Rudolphy (Alvaro), Patricio Contreras (Jorge), Maria Izquierdo (Maca), Boris Quercia (Emilio)

LANGUAGE:In Spanish with Chinese subtitles

TAIWAN RELEASE: Today


Both men and woman are observed with a cool eye for comedy, and the director puts himself right in the firing line playing Emilio, a grumpy butcher whose frantic lovemaking has all but made his wife frigid. A scene involving a spin-dryer was one of many that had the audience at the press screening almost falling out of their seats with laughter.

Although the cinematography is a little rough and ready and the narrative almost falls apart under the strain of so many couples have so much sex in so many different ways, Sexo With Love has more than its share of laugh-out-loud moments, and it is this raucous comedy, though neither subtle or even particularly original, but full of joy, that drives the film forward.

A brilliant soundtrack, a strangely evocative coupling of disco and grunge by the Alvaro Henriquez-fronted Chilean rock band Pettinellis, works particularly well and is an additional pleasure.

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