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Better Than Sex (2000)
3 days in the life of a 1 night stand.
Filmmaker(s): Jonathan Teplitzky

After a one-night stand a couple is faced with the terrifying possibility of what they really want.

Better Than Sex (2000)

Freckles, Neck

This slight project has nothing to recommend it, except wonder at its reason for being.

But that is enough for me. See, the reason behind such a project is that the sexual charm of a woman — a certain woman — is an accelerating capture. Once some level of familiarity is breached, rapture is inevitable.

An old idea, to be sure. The only novelty is in how it is presented, which is primarily a matter of what charm and what woman is displayed. And that’s what makes this so intriguing because Susie Porter is an unusual siren. Assuming that she is not Teplitzky‘s lover, she was selected because she has something leverageable in this department.

And that’s what intrigues me, because indeed I checked this movie out because I had seen Porter in an other film (“Paradise Road”) and she stuck to me. In that, she played a perky Australian Nurse, cropped hair but red.

Here she is blond — presumably to emphasise her skin, which features as a character in itself. This is an actress who acts with the upper bridge of her nose as focus. (Every actor has a single focus.) The rather shocking thing is that she has none of the attributes one normally associates with sexy actresses: she has a chunky build, weak eyes, an unsubmissive poise. She doesn’t move gracefully. Her smile doesn’t match any of the previously established cinematic patterns for appeal (something that, for instance is the sole asset of Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan).

I think the strategy here is frank directness. She spends a good part of her time looking at and speaking to the camera. There is a detached observation, emphasised by many sessions of sex where we hear her thoughts, and others where the talk is undetoured. Her girlfriends and even the taxidriver, re-enforce this.

It is funny. She didn’t do it for me in this project, where it is the point, but she did just that in a film about women prisoners of war. Go figure.

The movie has one nice touch — the opening. The whole story is about the guy getting captured, and that opening shot is of him on the first morning with his arm stuck under her rather appealing neck. This neck, by the way features in the other very nice shot where it flows down her entire back while she plays the piano. That one shot — if you already know the neck — may make it worthwhile for those wondering about triggers in film appeal.

I have seen half of all the films of Fireworks Pictures. I always find their wonderful logo the best part.

Posted in 2003

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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