January 1, 2012

Sweet Sex and Love: To Penetrate Is To Bore in Softcore

I admit it. I just watched a porno movie. Mind you, Sweet Sex and Love doesn't know it's pornography. It thinks it's an art film because it never shows genitalia and has its two main characters come to a melancholic end. (Grief would be too dramatic!) But any flick that shows this much pheromone-sweating skin in this many Kama Sutra positions is a skin flick. Let there be no bones about it. So while there's execrable dialogue between the various bonks in bed rooms, living rooms, kitchens, public and private restrooms, and cars with sunroofs in the middle of a rainstormy night, plot still takes a back seat to penetration and product placement for underwear.

As to the steamy story, apparently the big hump that the two horn-dogs have to get over in their relationship is her resistance to anal sex. Well, some problems even a good handful of lube will never solve. I suppose when your bond is built on fornication, that inability to take it like a man is as good as any reason to throw in the towelette. Being forced to swallow someone's ejaculate on a long bus ride could be another. Cheating with an ex-boyfriend who's about to get married would be a third.

It's easy to see why these two aren't destined for the quaintly creaky S&M dungeon of a brothel-turned-retirement-home. Their attraction may be intense -- and physically rewarding -- but it's also completely superficial. When the tough times rear (and "tough" means sex getting more coercive and post-coital dialogue growing more passive-aggressive), the only memories they have to fall back on inevitably grind on each other's nerves. Visions of your partner's butt are unlikely to keep you invested when your lover turns out to be a pain is the ass. "I'm a sex machine and hung like a horse," says Dong-ki (Kim Seong-su). "I'd grown bored with his penis," says Shin-a (Kim Seo-hyeong). "People this hot and this shallow simply shouldn't be happy," say I. With me, director Bong Man-dae seems to agree.

Despite its racy, just-shy-of-XXX nature, Sweet Sex and Love tarnished neither of its lead actors' careers nor typecast them as sluts. Kim Seo-hyeong went on to major roles in reputable scary pics like Black House and Voice, while Kim Seong-su resurfaced in even better fare: The Red Shoes and Monopoly. Not art exactly. But much closer. Does anyone know if Korean film has a casting couch?

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