Casual Sex? (1988)

casual sex

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 3 out of 10

4-Word Review: Sex in the 80’s

Stacy (Lea Thompson) and Melissa (Victoria Jackson) are lifelong friends with very different sexual pasts. Stacy has slept with a lot of guys including some one-night-stands while Melissa has had sex with only a few and never achieved an orgasm at least ‘not when someone else was in the room’.  Because of the AIDS epidemic they decide to reanalyze their sexual mores and join a singles resort where they hope to meet their Mr. Right and settle down.

The film is based on the stage play that was originally produced for The Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. You can tell this right away at the start where the two women stand on an empty stage and talk about some of their past sexual encounters. This proves to be the funniest part of the film with a lot of keen observations on human behavior. Unfortunately after the first five minutes of this the film digresses into a more conventional narrative by having the girls go to a single’s resort and the attempts at satire get either over-played or not played up enough. What is even worse is that it throws in a romance angle by having Stacy fall for an irritatingly perfect looking heartthrob named Nick (Stephen Shellen) who is an aspiring rock star. The two quickly move in together and then all of sudden he becomes completely clueless and harbors a lot of annoying habits that leads to a drawn-out, boring break-up session.

There are still a few funny moments including an amusing dream sequence where Stacy imagines making love to Nick while her boyfriends from the past start to pop up all around her, but overall the film fails to gain any traction, is filled with clumsy characterizations and falls flat. A much better approach would have been to structure it around a collection of vignettes with a sexual theme much like Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask, which is far more original and funnier than anything you will see here.

Lea is really cute and gives a good performance. Normally ditzy blondes get on my nerves, but somehow I have always found Victoria’s cute-as-a-button face and squeaky voice appealing. Her acting skills aren’t up to Lea’s level, but her more natural delivery makes for a nice contrast. Skin hounds will be happy to know that both women appear nude from the backside.

However, it’s Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay who steals the film with an engaging performance as the proverbial lounge lizard. Every scene he is in is funny and he tells a lot of lame jokes, but the way he says them is hilarious ‘they can’t all be golden’. In his attempt to get more connected to women he reads a book entitled ‘How to Pretend Your Sensitive’, which is amusing as well. My only complaint is that in the end Lea marries him and he becomes more ‘normal’, which takes away from the goofy caricature.

My Rating: 3 out of 10

Released: April 22, 1988

Runtime: 1Hour 37Minutes

Rated R

Director: Genevieve Robert

Studio: Universal

Available: VHS, DVD, Amazon Instant Video

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