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

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

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.